The Electoral Geography of Weimar Germany: Exploratory Spatial Data Analyses (ESDA) of Protestant Support for the Nazi Party Journal Article uri icon

Overview

abstract

  • For more than half a century, social scientists have probed the aggregate correlates of the vote for the Nazi party (NSDAP) in Weimar Germany. Since individual-level data are not available for this time period, aggregate census data for small geographic units have been heavily used to infer the support of the Nazi party by various compositional groups. Many of these studies hint at a complex geographic patterning. Recent developments in geographic methodologies, based on Geographic Information Science (GIS) and spatial statistics, allow a deeper probing of these regional and local contextual elements. In this paper, a suite of geographic methods—global and local measures of spatial autocorrelation, variography, distance-based correlation, directional spatial correlograms, vector mapping, and barrier definition (wombling)—are used in an exploratory spatial data analysis of the NSDAP vote. The support for the NSDAP by Protestant voters (estimated using King's ecological inference procedure) is the key correlate examined. The results from the various methods are consistent in showing a voting surface of great complexity, with many local clusters that differ from the regional trend. The Weimar German electoral map does not show much evidence of a nationalized electorate, but is better characterized as a mosaic of support for “milieu parties,” mixed across class and other social lines, and defined by a strong attachment to local traditions, beliefs, and practices.

publication date

  • January 1, 2002

Full Author List

  • O'Loughlin J

Other Profiles

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 217

end page

  • 243

volume

  • 10

issue

  • 3