IfW in the News

German Nationalism Is Back In The Bundestag: Robert Gold Discusses The Analogy With Trump’s America


Interview with Robert Gold, in which he explains the sucess of the AfD in German polls

Excerpt from the interview

(...) Peter Gaffney (PG): What’s your interpretation of the election results in Germany?

Robert Gold (RG): It makes me sad, of course. Seventy years after WWII, a nationalistic – and frankly, racist – party is in the German parliament. It’s a breaking point.

But the data is complicated. On the one hand, growing support for the AfD in Germany follows a trend that you now see all across the world. In countries like England and the U.S., there is a strong link between right-wing populism and economic factors connected to globalization. And this is also what I take out of my research on fringe politics in Germany.

Alice Weidel will co-lead the far right AfD faction in the Bundestag

Still, the situation here is a bit different. To begin with, Germany is a bit of a latecomer. Because Germans have benefited from globalization more than just about anyone in the West. And that’s why it’s taken longer for right-wing populists to gain ground.

Looking at election results we also see a strong east-west divide. Thirteen percent of the vote nationwide supported the right-wing fringe. But the figure in the former DDR is 20 percent. There were even some states in eastern Germany where the AfD beat out all other parties on the ballot. And that’s something that really concerns me.

Complete Interview