The right-wing AfD party might be on the rise, but citizens refuse to remain silent, Professors Andrea Römmele and Klaus Hurrelmann say.
With the far-right party Alternative für Deutschland (AfD, Alternative for Germany) the second strongest party in recent opinion polls, many Germans are worried how the situation in their country will develop. On the weekend of the 20th and 21st of January, many citizens turned to the streets and protested for an open, pluralist and democratic society.
“These demonstrations don’t necessarily mean that the AfD’s poll ratings are going down again,” Hertie School Professor of Communication in Politics and Civil Society Andrea Römmele said in The New York Times on 20 January. “But what it does show is that the silent majority is no longer silent – it’s an important signal, both nationally and internationally.”
Liberating blow after years of crises
In an article in the Augsburger Allgemeine Zeitung from 22 January, Senior Professor of Sociology Klaus Hurrelmann comments: "The protests against the right strike me as a liberating blow from population groups who have been preoccupied with themselves for a very long time because of COVID and many other challenges. They almost overlooked what is at stake." The federal government should now seize the opportunity to enter into dialogue and problem solving with constructive parts of society, he says.
Further media that covered the Hertie School faculty’s comments on the far right and the establishment of new parties include ARD, Deutschlandfunk, Welt, Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland, Bild, Stern, and the local news landscape.
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