The political geography of Nazism : the spatial diffusion of the Nazi Party vote in Weimar Germany / by Colin Robert Flint
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This thesis is an inquiry into the spatial diffusion of the Nazi party's electoral support in the seven Reichstag elections held between 1924 and 1933. Socio-economic and voting data were taken from the Wahl-und Sozialdaten der Kreise und Gemeinden des Deutschen Reiches, 1920-1933 at the Central Archive of the University of Cologne. The division of Germany into eight cultural-historical regions allows for an examination of the regional specificity of the Nazi party's electorate. This thesis challenges previous analyses which have treated the German electorate as a national unit. The spatial diffusion of the Nazi party vote is modelled using structural-spatial regression models. The dependent variables are the percentage change in the Nazi party vote between consecutive Reichstag elections. The modelling is conducted at the national scale as well as at the scale of the eight regions. Structural-spatial models include socio-economic variables as well as geographic variables to demonstrate the importance of spatial and contextual effects. Two concepts are incorporated into the analysis of aggregate data, spatial heterogeneity and spatial dependence. The presence of spatial dependence indicates spatial diffusion of the Nazi party vote at the local scale. The mapping of the change in the Nazi party vote illustrates local scale contagious diffusion and regional scale hierarchical diffusion. I demonstrate the domain-specific nature of the Nazi party's electoral support which national models fail to include. Though, at the national scale, the Nazi party's electorate was cross-class in nature, different sections of society were more or less likely to vote for the NSDAP according to spatial and temporal context. The ability of the Nazi party to extend its electoral support across space was limited both spatially and temporally. Established theories which have been used to explain the electoral support of the Nazi party are shown to be context specific rather than applicable to Germany as a whole.
Record last modified: 2018-05-22 11:46:00
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