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Samuel Salzborn

The relatively new party known as the Alternative for Germany (Alternative für Deutschland, AfD) and its relationship to right-wing extremism has been the subject of a great deal of intensive discussion among political and social scientists

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The Alternative for Germany from Breakthrough toward Consolidation?

A Comparative Perspective on Its Organizational Development

E. Gene Frankland

-first century new challengers of the established five party system of moderate pluralism have emerged: the Pirates (Piratenpartei) and the Alternative for Germany (Alternative für Deutschland, or AfD). These newcomers were not launched as ideological fringe

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The “Alternative for Germany”

Factors Behind its Emergence and Profile of a New Right-wing Populist Party

Frank Decker

party at the national level. 2 The rise of the euro(pe)skeptic Alternative for Germany (AfD) has changed this. Having come up just short of crossing the five percent threshold in the 2013 federal election, the newcomer achieved its first remarkable

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David F. Patton

In September 2017, the Alternative for Germany (AfD) became the first far-right party to join the Bundestag in nearly seventy years. Against the backdrop of Germany's Nazi past, the AfD's advance has been troubling for Germany's established

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Thomas Klikauer and Kathleen Webb Tunney

By the end of 2018, Germany’s secret service, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz) started composing a report on Germany’s most notorious right-wing political party, the Alternative for Germany (AfD). In January 2019, one of the authors asked Germany’s secret service to supply this report but was told “It’s secret.” On 28 January 2019, a short note even noted: “We will not send the document.” On the very same day, Netzpolitik.org posted the entire report online—all 436 pages of it. Netzpolitik.org stated: “We make the report available because open debate is vital in a democracy… and because it destroys the AfD’s fairy-tale of being a normal political party.” In their introduction, Netzpolitik’s Andre Meister, Anna Biselli, and Markus Reuter, who published the report, also emphasize: “We make the report available because the secret service believes ‘parts of the AfD violate Germany’s constitutional guarantee that human dignity is inviolable.”’ Netzpolitik.org is convinced that Germans have a right to know. Reading through the report one hardly finds evidence that would justify secrecy. Instead, it is a valid report written by a German state agency tasked with defending the Basic Law (Grundgesetz) concerning a political party.

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Renaissance of the New Right in Germany?

A Discussion of New Right Elements in German Right-wing Extremism Today

Samuel Salzborn

(Alternative for Germany, AfD) that formally dissociated itself from neo Nazism. These two areas, however, also reflected substantial differences of opinion within the New Right scene (and still do), because there are clear contradictions between a strategy

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Pointing Fingers at the Media?

Coverage of the 2017 Bundestag Election

Alexander Beyer and Steven Weldon

The 2017 Bundestag election likely will long be remembered as a pivotal moment in German politics. 1 The far-right and openly anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (Alternative für Deutschland, AfD) not only entered parliament for the first

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A Spectre Haunting Europe

Angela Merkel and the Challenges of Far-Right Populism

Joyce Marie Mushaben

Introduction: Mutter der Nation versus the Alternative for Germany Since 2005, Angela Merkel has secured her place in German history, given her unique status as the first woman, the first easterner, the first physicist, and even the first

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Jonathan Olsen

The story of Die Linke (Left Party, or LP) over the past thirty years reflects the incomplete project of politically unifying the two halves of Germany. Over the course of its history, the LP has been transformed from a desperate holdover from the communist era, to a populist representative of eastern identity in the decade after unification, and finally to a modern, all-German radical left party. Since 2015, however, the LP has found itself threatened in its eastern German heartland by the radical right Alternative for Germany (AfD), which is attempting to supplant the LP as the voice of eastern German protest.

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Jenny Wüstenberg

The memory landscape in Germany has been lauded for its pluralism: for reckoning with the past not only critically but in its many complex facets. Nevertheless, particularly victims of repression in East Germany lament that their plight is not adequately represented and some have recently affiliated themselves with the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party and other groups on the far-right spectrum. This article seeks to explain the seeming contradiction between existing pluralism in German public memory and dissatisfaction with it by tracing how memory activists have shaped memory policy and institutions. Based on extensive interview and archival research, I argue that the infiltration of civil society into the institutions that govern memory in large part explains the strength of critical memory in unified Germany and the country’s ability to accommodate a variety of pasts. However, there is also a distinct lack of pluralism when it comes to the rules of “how memory is done,” to the exclusion of more emotional and politicized approaches that are sometimes favored by some victims’ groups. Using the case of the recent debate about the Hohenschönhausen Memorial, I contend that this explains some of the attraction felt by these groups towards the right.