Affective politics of the far right beyond negative emotions

Julia Leser & Florian Spissinger

Chairman of far-right AfD party parliamentary group in Thuringia Bjoern Hoecke speaks during a demonstration of the anti-immigrant Pegida movement (Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the Occident), on February 17, 2020 in Dresden, eastern Germany. (Photo by STRINGER / AFP) (Photo by STRINGER/AFP via Getty Images)

In Germany, right-wing terror is on the rise. In the past years, events such as the 2016 mass shooting in a Munich shopping mall, the knife attack on politician Henriette Reker in 2015, the murder of Walter Lübcke and the attack of a synagogue in Halle in 2019, and the most recent terror attack in Hanau in February 2020 have left the country reeling. In light of these events, a wide range of liberal to conservative politicians and observers have issued public statements that condemn sentiments of hatred that are thought of as motivating these violent crimes. ‘Hate is a poison that… is responsible for far too many crimes,’ said chancellor Angela Merkel after the Hanau shooting.  Others have explicitly accused the far-right populist party Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) of fueling hate that would lead to an increase in right-wing violence. The AfD should be considered ‘the political arm of hate,’ said Green party member Cem Özdemir in a recent interview, while AfD politicians have been vehemently protesting the accusations and denying any connections between their politics, the dissemination of hate and the rise in terror attacks in Germany.

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