(together with Jacob Ulrich)
#Aufstehen statt sitzen bleiben: Can a Rally Movement Give the Parties a Leg Up?, VerfBlog, 2018/9/13, https://verfassungsblog.de/aufstehen-statt-sitzenbleiben-kann-eine-sammlungsbewegung-den-parteien-beine-machen/
Jeremy Corbyn, Emanuel Macron, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, and now Sahra Wagenknecht. At first glance, these characters could not be more different, but they all have in common that they have put themselves at the head of a “movement,” used the “momentum” in their parties, put the republic “en marche,” invoked an “indomitable France,” or just “stood up.” Rallying movements are hip. And as different as their goals may be, they all reflect the zeitgeist: they are children of the disenchantment with politics in Western European societies. #aufstehen even formulates this very clearly: “No politician, no party will solve our problems if we don’t do it ourselves.”
Have parties outlived their usefulness by now? Is it time to try out other forms of organized civic engagement to power the engine of our democratic society? Is #aufstehen the movement it needs to be? Does it even help us get closer to an alternative model that might do without political parties? After all, more than 100,000 people have reportedly taken an interest in the rallying movement within a few months, while the established parties are suffering from a loss of members.