Migration, Identity and Extremism in Germany

Muirhead Tower 715
Social Sciences
Friday 15th March 2019 (11:00-18:00)
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Recent political developments such as the right-wing extremist demonstrations and violence in the city of Chemnitz as well as the fourth anniversary of PEGIDA show the continuous presence of right-wing social movements and extremism in Germany following increased levels of immigration in recent years. With the demonstrators’ chanting of ‘We are the people’ and other claims of resisting ‘the elite’, research has approached this phenomenon of right-wing movements and extremism from the angle of populism, people’s understanding of democracy, and the political science of protest and radical parties. Arguably neglected in academic discussions on right-wing social movements and extremism is the interplay with migration and the angle of identity politics and nationalism. This is particularly relevant given the increased number of attacks on migrants and asylum seeker accommodation centres. How are newcomers perceived and how does this influence constructions of national identity? What is the role of national identity in the ideology of right-wing movements as well as in wider society in this regard? How are such perceptions and identities explored and disseminated in the public sphere? How do they interact with other socio-economic issues? What measures are being taken (and/or could be taken in the future) to improve integration and social cohesion and how can these help to counter right-wing extremism?


The purpose of this event is to offer an opportunity to reflect on the interface of migration and extremism through the lens of national identity in Germany, as well as to explore avenues for improved social cohesion and the countering of right-wing extremism.