The Linkspartei is Germany's newest political party. It grew out of the predominantly eastern German PDS and the largely western German WASG. It is the first party in Germany's history to stabilize itself as a serious competitor to the left of Germany's Social Democrats. Its organizational resilience and its strong electoral performances would therefore indicate that it will be here to stay for a while to come.This book analyses how the Left Party came into existence, why it has been successful and where it is likely to go - in programmatic, strategic and electoral terms - from here. It compares the Left Party's political development with that of post-war Germany's other most famous outsider-turned-insider party, the Greens, and it also analyses the Left Party's performances in sub-national governments. It therefore contributes to wider debates on how, when and why parties 'de-radicalize' as they become more embedded in a political system.

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