Why has Germany seen a resurgence of radical right wing parties? This essay seeks to demonstrate that Germany’s attempts to increase its leadership in Europe have created flawed legislation with domestic consequences, creating dissatisfaction and facilitating the rise of the far-right. Germany’s attempted leadership through overreaching and deficient policy initiated an unprecedented influx of refugees. Further, media reports link diminished safety in local communities with the Merkel Government’s open door policies. Thus, German citizens are politically dissatisfied and increasingly congenial to nationalist rhetoric of a stronger, safer nation as they seek disparate political alternatives to reconstruct their safety.
The German government has created a norm of increased German intervention in European affairs, attempting to expand their leadership within Europe. The most conspicuous example of German intervention is its contribution of 27% of European Stability Mechanism’s capital. Stronger illustration of this norm is found in insistence on long-term financial structural reform in Baltic EU member states. , The current government appears adamant to expand its influence and power in Europe past the financial sphere.
A long-standing leader in Europe’s financial affairs, Germany has attempted to expand influence with each subsequent crisis. As David Art notes, Germany has continually attempted to “transition into a particular type of hegemon (within Europe),” through its increasing dominance of the European Union, particularly after the Eurozone crisis. However, as Bulmer and Paterson note Germany is neither stable enough domestically nor legitimate enough internationally ...
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...s garnered the AfD vast domestic support. The AfD articulates the anti-immigrant sentiments of Germans and presents drastic solutions. AfD leader Franke Petry endorses borders being “completely shut” and suggested illegal migrants should be shot by police. The party’s calls for an isolated Germany contrast the Merkel Government’s investment in the European political sphere. AfD’s strong stances deeply contrast current political parties, further expanding their support.
The Merkel Government’s migrant crisis policies may have been intended to establish the nation as an innovative leader in Europe. However, the policies have created substantive security concerns domestically. Right wing nationalist parties capitalize citizen’s safety concerns to propose vast changes which resonate with citizens, resulting in swells of popularity for right-wing parties.
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