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Democracy, Society, Market economy

The Research Unit Democracy, Society, Market Economy investigates the societal conditions of economic success. Therefore, our research agenda includes inconsistent preferences as well as unresolved or hidden trade-offs as drivers of economic actors' decision-making. The polarized public discourse hinders the negotiation of appropriate political solutions. In this context, success in international competition depends in particular on the extent to which our pluralistic democracy remains able to endure and tame the tensions between societal groups. The goal is therefore to develop options for reconciliation between business, government and society.

Contact Persons

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Knut Bergmann

Dr. Knut Bergmann

Head of Communication and the Branch Office in Berlin

Tel: +49 30 27877-110 Knut Bergmann @knut_bergmann
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Matthias Diermeier

Dr. Matthias Diermeier

Managing Director of IW Gesellschaftsforschung gGmbH and Head of Research Unit Democracy, Society, Market Economy

Tel: +49 221 4981-605 Matthias Diermeier
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External Publication
Results from a Survey of Business and Employers' Associations
External Publication 26. February 2024

How German Business deals with the populist radical right party Alternative for Germany (AfD): Results from a Survey of Business and Employers' Associations

Knut Bergmann / Matthias Diermeier / Daniel Kinderman / Wolfgang Schroeder

The Alternative for Germany (AfD) has established itself in Germany as a liberal-right-wing populist party in terms of its economic policy programme.

IW

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[Translate to English:] Polens Regierungspartei PiS will unbedingt im Amt bleiben - ausgemacht ist das nicht.
Thomas Obst / Samina Sultan IW News 13. October 2023

Elections: Following its "Wirtschaftswunder", Poland must commit to the world

This coming Sunday, Poles will elect a new government. In wake of its remarkable "Wirtschaftswunder" or economic miracle, Poland stands at a crossroads. After experiencing years of economic growth, it has the potential to achieve even greater prosperity, provided it opens up further to the world and manages to find pragmatic solutions to major conflicts with the EU.

IW

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Public Discussion of the Revised Unemployment Benefit
IW-Trends No. 1 23. May 2023

Too Much or Too Little Reform?: Public Discussion of the Revised Unemployment Benefit

Matthias Diermeier/ Jan Felix Engler / Holger Schäfer

Under its new name, Citizens' Benefit (Bürgergeld), Germany’s reformed unemployment benefit was supposed to put basic benefits for job-seekers on a new footing and fulfil the political promise to "overcome" its controversial predecessor known, after its original sponsor’s final proposal, as ‘Hartz IV’.

IW

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The Rise and Fall of Industrial Cities on Both Sides of the Atlantic
IW-Kurzbericht No. 16 2. March 2023

The Rise and Fall of Industrial Cities on Both Sides of the Atlantic

Ruth Maria Schüler / Matthias Diermeier

Buffalo (New York) and Dortmund (North Rhine Westphalia) as well as Akron (Ohio) and Chemnitz (Saxony) are twin cities that share the history of deindustrialization. At the same time, they experienced rapid population growth and a globalization shock in the middle and end (East Germany) of the twentieth century. The structural change in the Rust Belt was accompanied by economic upheavals, which is still reflected in today’s reluctance for electoral participation. In this respect, social security and regional policy have had a stabilizing effect in Germany.

IW

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External Publication
evidence on parliamentarians’ responsiveness and misinformation toleration from a field experiment
External Publication 5. January 2023

Tailoring the Truth: evidence on parliamentarians’ responsiveness and misinformation toleration from a field experiment

Matthias Diermeier at European Political Science Review

The rise of populist radical right parties (PRRPs) is largely seen to have been triggered by a dealignment between voters and political elites and to have triggered an increasing supply of misinformation.

IW

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