Alternative for Germany (AfD): An Extreme Right-Wing Party? Notes du Cerfa, No. 152, Ifri, March 2020
The AfD - Alternative for Germany - was founded in 2013 to protest the Euro rescue policy. Originally conservative-liberal, but to the right of the CDU/CSU, the party presented itself after 2015 as the main opponent to Angela Merkel's migration policy. It subsequently achieved electoral success, including its entry into the Bundestag in 2017.
After significant radicalization of its discourse and political program, the AfD now stands as the party that represents the extreme right in Germany, along with the NPD (Nationaldemokratische Partei Deutschlands). It aggregates both traditional supporters of right-wing extremism and is also becoming the mouthpiece of right-wing populism, which is attracting more and more voters. Although the party is currently partially under observation by the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz), it seems unlikely that the AfD will moderate its political program and statements given its electoral success and the radicalization of its members.
Fabian Virchow is professor of political science at the University of Applied Sciences in Düsseldorf, where he heads the research focus on right-wing extremism/Neo-Nazism.
This publication is available the following languages:
- FRENCH: " Alternative für Deutschland (AfD), un parti d’extrême droite ?" (pdf)
- GERMAN: "Alternative für Deutschland (AfD): eine Partei der extremen Rechten?" (pdf)