„National Identity“

Emotions and Right-Wing Populism in West Germany in the 1980s

Maik Tändler

Around 1980, a highly emotionalized debate on “national identity” was launched in West Germany. It was closely intertwined with a newly arising discussion about the status of the Nazi past in German history and memory politics on the one hand, and with the exacerbating conflicts concerning immigration and asylum policy on the other hand. Since the second half of the 1980s, all this facilitated some electoral successes of the party Die Republikaner, which was founded in 1983 as a right-wing conservative secession from the CSU (the Bavarian sister party of the Christian Democratic CDU), but radicalized and turned right-wing populist under its new leader Franz Schönhuber since 1985. The project addresses this so far neglected aspect of the history of political emotions in the late Bonn Republic. It consists of several substudies that investigate the new German longing for national identity from different perspectives.

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