1st Edition

Contemporary Germany and the Fourth Wave of Far-Right Politics From the Streets to Parliament

Edited By Manès Weisskircher Copyright 2024
    246 Pages 21 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    246 Pages 21 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This volume provides a state-of-the-art analysis on the fourth wave of far-right politics in Germany by leading scholars in the field. Innovatively, the book focuses not only on the role of the electoral breakthrough of AfD, the Federal Republic’s first-ever nationally established far-right party, but also on the many crucial instances of non-party activism, such as the ‘New Right’ intellectual circles, PEGIDA street protest, and political violence.

    For a long time, Germany was regarded as an exceptional case because of the lack of an established far-right party on the national level. Times have changed – but Germany still remains unique. The book highlights four features that continue to make the case exceptional within Western Europe: (I) The strong diversity of vibrant far-right political players in Germany and their many interconnections, (II) the electoral success of AfD, i.e. the delayed electoral breakthrough of a far-right party on the national level, (III) the importance of ‘militant democracy’, specifically how established players have responded to AfD, and (IV) the relevance of the east-west divide for understanding far-right politics in Germany. Contributions on these topics highlight the broader theoretical relevance of the analysis of the German far-right, connecting to many research questions that have occupied scholars also in other contexts.

    The book is essential reading for all those with an interest in the far right, German and European politics, as well as in the interconnections between political parties, social movements, and subcultural milieus.

    Introduction: German Exceptionalism during the Fourth Wave of Far-right Politics  

    Manès Weisskircher  

    Part I The Far Right Outside of Legislatures  

    1.      Germany’s New Right: Between Neo-National Socialism and Liberal Democracy  

    Uwe Backes  

    2.      Germany’s Anti-Islamic PEGIDA Movement: A Local Phenomenon and Its Broader Impact  

    Maik Herold, and Steven Schäller  

    3.      Interconnected Realities: The Hybrid Dynamics of Far-right Online and Offline Mobilization  

    Matthias Hoffmann and Julia Rone  

    4.      Fitting in, Standing out: Far-right Youth Style and Commercialization in Germany  

    Cynthia Miller-Idriss and Annett Graefe-Geusch  

    5.      The Violence of the Far Right: The Three Decades after German Reunification  

    Pascal D. König and Sebastian Jäckle  

    Part II The Electoral Breakthrough of the AfD  

    6.      The Politicization of Immigration and Radical Right Party Politics in Germany  

    Theresa Gessler and Sophia Hunger  

    7.      The Electoral Breakthrough of the AfD and the East-west Divide in German Politics  

    Kai Arzheimer  

    8.      Far-right Parties and Divisions over Movement-party Strategy: The AfD and the anti-Corona Protests of Querdenken  

    Manès Weisskircher  

    9.      The Power of Anti-Pacting in Germany: History and Outlook  

    David Art  

    10.  Learning how to Respond to the AfD. Uploading from the Subnational to the National Level?  

    Anna-Sophie Heinze  

    11.  The AfD’s Influence on Germany’s Coalition Landscape. Obstacle or Opportunity for the Center-right?  

    Frank Decker, Fedor Ruhose, and Philipp Adorf  

    Conclusion: Towards a Fifth Wave of Far-Right Politics in Germany and beyond?  

    Manès Weisskircher  


    Manès Weisskircher leads a research group on far-right politics and climate action (REXKLIMA) at the Institute of Political Science, TU Dresden, and is affiliated to the Center for Research on Extremism (C-REX), University of Oslo, and the Center for Civil Society Research, Berlin Social Science Center (WZB). His research interests are social movements, political parties, democracy, and the far right.

    "This extremely informative volume proves the importance of combining the analysis of street politics and institutional politics. Looking at the different facets of the interactions between protests and elections, social movements and political parties, it represents an important contribution to understanding the fourth wave of far-right politics in Germany."
    Donatella della Porta, Scuola Normale Superiore, Italy

    "This compelling volume is a must-read for scholars and students seeking to understand the interconnections between far-right protest and electoral politics in general and Germany’s radical and extreme right in particular. Analysing the rise of the far right from street protests to parliamentary office, the authors creatively contribute to many important debates in the field."
    Swen Hutter, FU Berlin and Social Science Center Berlin (WZB), Germany

    "Bringing together a diverse collection of German and international experts, this book provides the most comprehensive and up-to-date analysis of the German far right in its various shades and shapes. Moreover, the various chapters firmly ground the German experience in a broader international context. This makes Contemporary Germany and the Fourth Wave of Far-Right Politics a must read for scholars of both German politics and the international far right."
    Cas Mudde, author of The Far Right Today (2019)