The German New Right
AfD, PEGIDA and the Re-Imagining of National Identity
A timely appraisal of the cultural and political manifestations of German identity as envisaged by its growing right-wing parties.
Contemporary Germany is a modern industrial democracy admired throughout the world. Many Germans believe that they live in the ‘best Germany’ that has ever existed. Yet there are dissenting voices: individuals and groups that reject cosmopolitanism, globalisation and multiculturalism, and yearn for the more homogeneous country of earlier times. They are part of a global movement, often characterised as populist, that values tradition over innovation or constant change. In Germany, such people are routinely portrayed as reactionary or even neofascist. The present study seeks to provide a portrait of these individuals and their organisations.
Very little has been written in English about the cultural figures who play a role in this movement. When the political side is discussed—whether in its manifestation as a party (the Alternative for Germany) or a citizens’ group (Pegida)—the cultural dimension is usually ignored. Jay Julian Rosellini places the so-called New Right in the context of currents in German culture and history that differ from those in other countries.
With Germany the dominant country in the European Union, economically and politically, this volume offers an essential view of its current conditions, future prospects and political particularities.
‘Erudite, timely and highly readable. A landmark study of the evolution of populist groups, from Pegida to the AfD. Rosellini takes the reader beyond the news cycle to make sense of the profound transformations in Germany’s political landscape. Essential reading for everyone interested the global resurgence of the far right.’ — David Motadel, Assistant Professor of International History at the London School of Economics
‘Rosellini’s book makes a valuable contribution to our understanding of Germany’s new right.’ — German Politics and Society
‘Roselini’s book is timely, well researched, and written with flair, hitting the right notes between passion and sobriety… offering a coherent scholarly x-ray of current German right-wing parties.’ — H-Ideas
‘[A] highly informative new book… [and] a valuable guide.’ — Journal of European Studies
‘The German New Right is … not only a study of political thought but also a careful, sober plea for dialogue, close reading, and, ultimately, for the humanities.’ — The German Quarterly
‘Sober, objective and eminently readable. An insight into the contradictory image of Germany, the EU’s most economically important member state. The rise of extreme right-wing movements in a country that strives to appear humane and open-minded is discussed without opprobrium.’ — Melanie Sully, Head of Go-Governance
‘A useful overview of the intellectual debates that gave rise to the contemporary far right in Germany’ — Sasha Polakow-Suransky, deputy editor at Foreign Policy, and author of Go Back to Where You Came From: The Backlash Against Immigration and the Fate of Western Democracy
‘A compelling and shrewd analysis of the New Right in Germany, whose agenda is reshaping – or misshaping – current political discourse in Europe. Essential reading to understand a country and a continent undergoing radical change.’ — Paul Bishop, William Jacks Chair in Modern Languages (German) at the University of Glasgow
Jay Julian Rosellini is Professor Emeritus of German at Purdue University and Professor Emeritus of German and Humanities at Suffolk University (Boston, Massachusetts). He was Visiting Professor at the Universität Hamburg when the Berlin Wall fell. His scholarship revolves around the interplay between literature and politics in Germany and Austria.