Berlin School Students negotiate new government coalitions

Germany has seen several important elections on federal and state level in 2021. Shortly after the election of the Bundestag end of September, many want to know who will govern Germany in the next 4 years. Which coalition will emerge from the exploratory talks?

Almost 1.000 Berlin Students from West to East have already simulated such talks and negotiations with our simulation game “Who governs Neuland”? The students took up the roles of high-level politicians and negotiated pressing issues during exploratory talks and caucuses to.

The outcomes of these negotiations were influenced by seat distribution based on polling data of the time. A so-called “Ampel” (Red, Yellow, Green) coalition, which is right now talked about a lot in the media, was rarely the coalition of choice for the students in the classroom. Instead, they mostly managed to form governments led by the Left, the Social Democrats and the Greens, followed by a Green-Black alliance and the well-known Black-Red coalition which came to be equally often.

The simulation game did not only cause great excitement among the school students but also among the teachers: “I have never experienced that students were so involved and motivated in an activity. They are completely immersed in their roles! “ (Teaching staff at Max-Delbrück-Schule in Berlin-Pankow). During the post-game evaluation, the kids often reported that they gained a better understanding of why forming a coalition is so complex and sometimes time consuming. Nevertheless, they often said that they enjoyed the game and had great fun. 

Right now, we work on a light version of the simulation game to address the needs and learning goals of younger audiences even better. We are looking  forward to many future implementations.