The 'Alpine region' and political change: Lessons from Bavaria and South Tyrol (1946&-2018) Articles uri icon



publication date

  • November 2021

start page

  • 625

end page

  • 646


  • 5


  • 31

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1359-7566

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1743-9434


  • Bavaria and South Tyrol belong to the so-called 'Alpine (Macro-)Region', a transnational area located in the heart of Europe, where geopolitical, cultural and socio-economic peculiarities have resulted in distinctive democratic dynamics. The key question that this article aims to answer is whether these two regions can still be regarded as exceptional cases of political stability. It is shown that, since 2008, their political systems have experienced significant change. While transformations have also occurred at the national level in Germany and Italy, they seem even more dramatic in Bavaria and South Tyrol, particularly after decades of political continuity. It is argued that this unprecedented shift is due to the combined effect of regional and state-wide challengers and is linked to the multi-level character of party competition at the regional level. Generally, these two cases add a territorial dimension to the study of political stability and change in Western Europe.


  • History
  • Politics


  • bavaria; south tyrol; alpine region; csu; svp