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COVFED - Political cohesion under conditions of fiscal scarcity – German federalism in the time of COVID-19

Funding: VolkswagenStiftung

Team: Prof. Dr. Sabine Kropp (Project Leader) & Dr. Antonios Souris (Research Fellow)


The project investigates the extent to which political actors use the federal order as an opportunity structure for opportunistic strategies in the Covid-19 crisis, and which political and institutional safeguards ("safeguards") help to thwart these strategies. The research focuses on the argumentation strategies in the political debates about the federal crisis management. For the empirical analysis, we have manually coded dataset, currently consisting of 4,360 cases. For this purpose, we applied a qualitative content analysis to plenary debates in the German state parliaments (Landtage) and in the Bundestag between February 2020 and the federal election in September 2021. The first results, dealing with argumentation strategies in the Landtage, have been published in the journal "der moderne staat" (https://doi.org/10.3224/dms.v15i1.05). In the next research step, semi-qualitative approaches such as the discursive network analysis (DNA) will be applied. In addition, the data will be arranged for text-as-data methods. 

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SFB 700