From Welcoming to Wary: The SPD's Rhetoric on the Flüchtlingspolitik
This paper traces the response of the SocialDemocratic Party of Germany (SPD) to the European migrant crisis in the fall of 2015. In particular, I explore the change in the party's position, which initially had pledged full support of the admission of refugees to Germany but toned down its support over the course of the fall. I discuss this development against the backdrop of the rightward shift of the SPD. I argue that a possible explanation of the change in the SPD's position is the decision of Chancellor Merkel, leader of the rival party Christian Democratic Union, to grant admission to hundreds of thousands of refugees on September 5th, 2015. Mainly based on the SPD's own publications and media coverage of the party's activities, this paper examines the shift in the language of the SPD.