№ 3, 2022
Alternative for Germany: Between Conservatism and Right-Wing Populism
The rise of the right-wing populism has become a distinguishing feature of the political life of European countries at the beginning of the 21st century. Over the last 20—25 years, right-wing populist parties have turned from once marginal associations into an important component of the partypolitical system of the EU countries. The key components of the ideology of the parties of this type include ethno-cultural nationalism, anti-immigrant attitudes, anti-globalism, and euroscepticism. Similarly to other populists, their representatives claim to express the interests of the “true” people, which they understand as an organic unity that is opposed to the self-serving and morally degraded establishment.
The German version of right-wing populism manifests itself in the Alternative for Germany (AfD), which stands somewhat apart from the European right-wing populist organizations and differs from most of them in its genesis. The AfD was founded in 2013 by the conservatives and national liberals and in the first few years of its existence it used to be in fact a national conservative eurosceptic party. Although later its right-wing component became stronger, the party still decisively dissociates itself from right-wing radicalism and denies any connection with the German right-wing tradition. The preservation of the national and cultural identity of Germany, the restriction of the influx of immigrants, the rejection of the euro and the transformation of the European Union into an association of sovereign states are among the most important AfD’s principles set out in the party platform.
The electoral base of the AfD consists of those Germans who lose out from globalization, do not accept multiculturalism and are concerned about the influx of migrants from other cultures into Germany. The party is most popular in the eastern lands of Germany. In addition to the extreme right movement, which gravitates towards right-wing radicalism, the party also retains a moderate conservative one. Nevertheless, the AfD remains a party that no one wants to “shake hands” with and has almost no chance of entering power.
Main Page ~ Authors ~ N. V.Rabotyazhev