While German Shepherds were Sleeping: How Mainstream Parties Created a Fertile Ground for the Electoral Success of the German Radical-Right AfD
Karen Umansky, Phd, Graduated BMI Fellow
Academic Advisor: Prof. Itai Sened
This research sheds light on the resurgence of radical populism in contemporary European democracies, focusing on the 2017 German elections. Umansky demonstrates the manner in which AfD mobilized voters and gained their support by presenting them with a ‘legitimate’ enemy alleged to pose an ethnic and cultural threat to the German people. The concept of a ‘legitimate’ enemy is advanced by Umansky and Spektorowski (2017) as a mass mobilization strategy of modern radical populists in Europe. By embracing the politics of conflict an enemy is created in the minds of voters.