Benjamin De Cleen Co-authors Paper on Far-Right Intellectual Reflections on Populism

May 9, 2022

In a new research article published in the Journal of Political Ideologies, Omran Shoufri and CMDS Fellow Benjamin De Cleen analyze German far-right reflections and strategic thinking about populism.

The starting point for the paper is that while far-right populism is much discussed, there is very little analysis of the far-right’s own discourse on populism.

The authors study the publications discussing populism of the German think tank Institut für Staatspolitik, one of the main players of the intellectual Neue Rechte in Germany, which is also close to parts of the extreme right party Alternative für Deutschland (AfD).

In these publications, they find “a sympathetic attitude towards populism, a rejection of mainstream anti-populism and a readiness to learn from left-wing theories of populism.”

Comparing the far-right populist strategy to that of the left, the paper shows that “the far-right’s populist strategy is strongly overdetermined by a nativist conception of who belongs to ‘the people’ – and who doesn’t – and an anti-globalism rooted in debates on identity and national sovereignty, rather than equality.”