When: Friday, 9 December 2022 at 1:00pm - 2:00pm (UTC+3)
Where: Online only via the Zoom link below:
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Meeting ID: 696 9239 7202
The German Far-Right, Constitutional Rights and Memory Politics since Reunification.
For the far-right and its associated intellectuals, German reunification in 1990 signaled the arrival of a new constitutional order in which the Volk would be restored as a national unit and with it, total sovereignty: first the formal restoration of sovereignty from Allied Powers and then the realization of a new order domestically that was no longer constricted by post-war limitations imposed by the victorious Allies. In practice this was to mean a German exit from the EU and other European regional mechanisms that inhibited German sovereignty, but also the end to legal protections for ethnic and religious minorities, for refugees and asylum seekers and broad political pluralism in general. The basic rights of the German constitution, in its idealized form, were pitted against human rights which were positioned as an alien tool of degraded globalizing institutions that have gone astray from the supposedly original Christian and nationalist understanding of rights. In recent years, the transformation of the Alternative for Germany (AfD) from an economically Eurosceptical party to one of populist right Eastern German identity politics has complicated earlier nationalist positions. While the 1848 Revolutions once held a central place in the historical imaginings of the far-right, the AfD and others have increasingly adopted the peaceful revolution of 1989 as the new fulcrum of their memory politics. With the rallying cry of “Complete the Turn” (Vollende die Wende,), the AfD has positioned itself as the natural heir to the post-socialist liberal democratic transition, fulfilling the destiny of the Volk as described in the constitution on behalf of the former citizens of the GDR still waiting for their promised emancipation. As such, the AfD has aimed to portray any effort by to hinder the party’s actions in the name of preserving constitutional democracy as an extremist threat by the far-left, which threatens the realization of a true democratic transition from state socialism.