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Be better than nationalism: overcoming economic inequality for international solidarity. Using social movement theory to deconstruct the cultural ideology of the Alternative for Germany

Neidl, Lisa LU (2021) In Master Thesis Series in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science MESM02 20202
LUCSUS (Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies)
Abstract
This thesis advocates for the evaluation of current sociopolitical conflicts through the lens of social movement theory, as a decisive path to deconstruct the premises of the German right-wing party Alternative for Germany (Alternative für Deutschland, AfD). The party is conceptualized as an institutionalized social movement, which is insufficiently answering public material grievances caused by economic inequality with the cultural response of nationalistic solidarity.

In a globalized world facing the shared challenge of climate change, anticipated and needed international solidarity is fading whilst ultra-nationalistic tendencies are on the rise. In the case of Germany, this manifests in the party AfD. Drawing on social movement... (More)
This thesis advocates for the evaluation of current sociopolitical conflicts through the lens of social movement theory, as a decisive path to deconstruct the premises of the German right-wing party Alternative for Germany (Alternative für Deutschland, AfD). The party is conceptualized as an institutionalized social movement, which is insufficiently answering public material grievances caused by economic inequality with the cultural response of nationalistic solidarity.

In a globalized world facing the shared challenge of climate change, anticipated and needed international solidarity is fading whilst ultra-nationalistic tendencies are on the rise. In the case of Germany, this manifests in the party AfD. Drawing on social movement theory synthesized by McAdam, McCarthy and Zald, the thesis characterizes the AfD as an institutionalized social movement (ISM) by examining the party’s political opportunities, resources, and framing. Analyzing the political discourse contributions of the party on Twitter using critical discourse analysis (CDA), this thesis exposes that the AfD is giving a cultural response of nationalistic solidarity to the material problem and public grievance of economic inequality. At present, this framing is successful due to the political elite creating a political vacuum by not giving sufficient responses to public grievances.

Having exposed this leverage point, the thesis calls for a counter-hegemony that fosters international solidarity through economic equality, which is a prerequisite for sustainable development. This counter-hegemony synergizes sustainable development on an international level whilst pushing back right-wing ultra-nationalistic tensions, which emphasizes the far-reaching potential of interdisciplinary sustainability science. (Less)
Abstract (German)
Die vorliegende Masterarbeit argumentiert für die Bewertung aktueller gesellschaftspolitischer Konflikte aus dem Blickwinkel der Theorien sozialer Bewegungen, um die Strategie der deutschen rechtspopulistischen politischen Partei Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) zu dekonstruieren. Die Partei ist hierbei als institutionalisierte soziale Bewegung zu verstehen, deren kulturelle Antwort nationalistischer Solidarität die gesellschaftlichen materiellen Missstände wirtschaftlicher Ungerechtigkeit nicht valide beantworten kann.

In einer globalisierten Welt, die sich der gemeinsamen Herausforderung des Klimawandels stellen muss, schwindet die erwartete und notwendige internationale Solidarität, während gleichzeitig ultra-nationalistischen... (More)
Die vorliegende Masterarbeit argumentiert für die Bewertung aktueller gesellschaftspolitischer Konflikte aus dem Blickwinkel der Theorien sozialer Bewegungen, um die Strategie der deutschen rechtspopulistischen politischen Partei Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) zu dekonstruieren. Die Partei ist hierbei als institutionalisierte soziale Bewegung zu verstehen, deren kulturelle Antwort nationalistischer Solidarität die gesellschaftlichen materiellen Missstände wirtschaftlicher Ungerechtigkeit nicht valide beantworten kann.

In einer globalisierten Welt, die sich der gemeinsamen Herausforderung des Klimawandels stellen muss, schwindet die erwartete und notwendige internationale Solidarität, während gleichzeitig ultra-nationalistischen Tendenzen zunehmen. In Deutschland manifestiert sich dies in der Partei AfD. Anhand der Synergie mehrerer Theorien sozialer Bewegungen (McAdam, McCarthy und Zald) werden die politische Entstehungsmöglichkeit, die Ressourcenmobiliserung sowie das Framing der AfD beurteilt, um sie als institutionalisierte soziale Bewegung (ISM) einzuordnen. Dazu untersucht die Autorin im Rahmen einer kritischen Diskursanalyse (CDA) die Diskursbeiträge der Partei im sozialen Netzwerk Twitter im 4. Quartal 2019. Die Ergebnisse zeigen, dass die AfD dem gesellschaftlichen materiellen Missstand wirtschaftlicher Ungleichheit mit einer kulturellen Antwort nationalistischer Solidarität begegnet. Dieser Ansatz kann die materielle Problematik nicht beheben. Gegenwärtig ist er dennoch erfolgreich, da die etablierten Parteien als politische Elite ein politisches Vakuum schaffen, indem sie nicht ausreichend auf diesen gesellschaftlichen Missstand reagieren.

Als Reaktion auf diesen strategischen Schwachpunkt der AfD empfiehlt die Autorin eine Gegenhegemonie als Voraussetzung für nachhaltige Entwicklung, welche die internationale Solidarität durch wirtschaftliche Gleichheit fördert. Diese Gegenhegemonie stärkt nachhaltige Entwicklung auf internationaler Ebene und entkräftet gleichzeitig rechtspopulistische ultra-nationalistische Tendenzen. Dies unterstreicht das weitreichende Potenzial interdisziplinärer Nachhaltigkeitswissenschaft. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Neidl, Lisa LU
supervisor
organization
course
MESM02 20202
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
Economic Inequality, International Solidarity, Social Movement Theory, Sustainability Science, Alternative for Germany (AfD)
publication/series
Master Thesis Series in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science
report number
2021:005
language
English
id
9040301
date added to LUP
2021-02-15 08:42:30
date last changed
2021-02-15 08:42:30
@misc{9040301,
  abstract     = {This thesis advocates for the evaluation of current sociopolitical conflicts through the lens of social movement theory, as a decisive path to deconstruct the premises of the German right-wing party Alternative for Germany (Alternative für Deutschland, AfD). The party is conceptualized as an institutionalized social movement, which is insufficiently answering public material grievances caused by economic inequality with the cultural response of nationalistic solidarity.

In a globalized world facing the shared challenge of climate change, anticipated and needed international solidarity is fading whilst ultra-nationalistic tendencies are on the rise. In the case of Germany, this manifests in the party AfD. Drawing on social movement theory synthesized by McAdam, McCarthy and Zald, the thesis characterizes the AfD as an institutionalized social movement (ISM) by examining the party’s political opportunities, resources, and framing. Analyzing the political discourse contributions of the party on Twitter using critical discourse analysis (CDA), this thesis exposes that the AfD is giving a cultural response of nationalistic solidarity to the material problem and public grievance of economic inequality. At present, this framing is successful due to the political elite creating a political vacuum by not giving sufficient responses to public grievances.

Having exposed this leverage point, the thesis calls for a counter-hegemony that fosters international solidarity through economic equality, which is a prerequisite for sustainable development. This counter-hegemony synergizes sustainable development on an international level whilst pushing back right-wing ultra-nationalistic tensions, which emphasizes the far-reaching potential of interdisciplinary sustainability science.},
  author       = {Neidl, Lisa},
  keyword      = {Economic Inequality,International Solidarity,Social Movement Theory,Sustainability Science,Alternative for Germany (AfD)},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  series       = {Master Thesis Series in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science},
  title        = {Be better than nationalism: overcoming economic inequality for international solidarity. Using social movement theory to deconstruct the cultural ideology of the Alternative for Germany},
  year         = {2021},
}