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PEGIDA as Part of Right-Wing Populism in Germany and Europe

  • Hans Vorländer
  • Maik Herold
  • Steven Schäller
Chapter
Part of the New Perspectives in German Political Studies book series (NPG)

Abstract

This chapter brings all findings together and classifies Patriotic Europeans against the Islamisation of the Occident (PEGIDA) as part of right-wing populism in Germany and Europe. It is argued that PEGIDA is to be understood as a first successful populist attempt to mobilise from existing ethnocentric attitude patterns in Germany. Its protest, however, was not directed at specific political concerns in the first place, but instead expressed a general feeling of political dissatisfaction and indignation. PEGIDA took up something which was already present but not visible and then joined everything together. People with right-wing populist, xenophobic and Islamophobic attitudes, critics of democracy and right-wing extremists could identify with its label, but also sceptics and those dissatisfied with their situation found a platform in the demonstrations. In doing so, PEGIDA made feelings of resentment socially acceptable and as a ‘regulars’ table’ of the street made a decisive contribution to a coarsening of the discourse and to a disinhibition of the protest culture. Even if the movement was neither able to transform into a political party nor able to establish itself internationally as a partner in the phalanx of right-wing populist groups, it was decisive for the establishment of right-wing populism in German politics and paved the way for the latest electoral successes of the Alternative für Deutschland (AfD).

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hans Vorländer
    • 1
  • Maik Herold
    • 1
  • Steven Schäller
    • 1
  1. 1.TU DresdenDresdenGermany

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