Western German attitudes are converging with those of eastern Germany
In contrast, the Germany Monitor finds that there is a stable consensus regarding the welfare state: a broad majority are of the opinion that the state should assume responsibility for the general risks of life. At the same time, there is a growing openness towards a state that is able to act in the face of economic challenges and societal risks. “The differences between east and west are narrowing because the corresponding attitudes of western Germans are converging with those of eastern Germans,” says Reinhard Pollak, a sociologist at the GESIS Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences in Mannheim.
These and numerous other results of the Germany Monitor can be found in the detailed report of the study, which is available on the homepages of the participating research institutes and on the homepage of the Federal Government Commissioner for Eastern Germany. A compact summary of the key findings is also available there.
The Germany Monitor
The Germany Monitor is a newly developed academic study that will analyse the attitudes of people in Germany on an annual basis from now on. The core question of the study is how regional living environments (“contexts”) influence the attitudes of the people living there in the short and long term. A unique study design enables both Germany-wide and regional developments to be analysed and contrasted with each other. The Germany Monitor uses two samples for this purpose. The first sample of around 4,000 people represents the population aged 16 and over in Germany. The second sample is a regional sample in selected structurally strong and structurally weak districts in eastern and western Germany, in which a further representative sample of 4,000 people are surveyed. In addition to the population surveys, in-depth focus group interviews are conducted in the selected districts to enable an in-depth analysis of people’s attitudes and perspectives.
A consortium of academics from the Centre for Social Research, Halle, the Institute of Political Science of the University of Jena and GESIS Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences in Mannheim produces the Germany Monitor. The Germany Monitor is financed by a grant from the Federal Government Commissioner for Eastern Germany and it focuses on different topics each year. In 2023, the surveys took place in June, July and October. Initially, a three-year test phase is planned for the years 2023 to 2025.
For further reading:
The full report and an abridged version are available on the homepage of the Institute of Political Science de (German only).