The Wolves are Coming Back: The Politics of Fear in Eastern Germany

Author(s): Rebecca Pates, Julia Leser

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The wolves are coming back moves beyond stereotypic representations of East Germany, and shines light on the complexities of post-socialist life and losses. It seeks to explain the extraordinary success of new far right parties in a vivid ethnographic recounting of the local politics of fear, hope and national identitySince 1990, the wolf has been a protected species in Germany; killing a wolf is a crime punishable by a prison sentence of up to five years. In East Germany, where the political ground is shifting to the right, locals argue that the wolves are not German, but Western Polish, undeserving of protection since they have invaded Saxon territory and threatened the local way of life. Many people in East Germany feel that the wolf, like the migrant, has been a problem for years, but that nobody in power is listening to them. While nationalist parties are on the rise everywhere in Europe, The wolves are coming back offers an insight into the rise of East German fringe political movements and agitation against both migrants and wolves by hunters, farmers, rioters and self-appointed saviours of the nation. The nationalist Alternative for Germany (AfD) represents the third-largest party in the German federal parliament, with representation in the vast majority of German states. They draw much of their support from regions that have been referred to as the 'post-traumatic places' in Eastern Germany, structured by realities of disownment, disenfranchisement, and a lack of democratic infrastructure. Pates and Leser provide an account of the societal roots of a new group of radical right parties, whose existence and success we always assumed to be impossible. Since 1990, the wolf has been a protected species in Germany; killing a wolf is a crime punishable by a prison sentence of up to five years. In East Germany, where the political ground is shifting to the right, locals argue that the wolves are not German, but Western Polish, undeserving of protection since they have invaded Saxon territory and threatened the local way of life. Many people in East Germany feel that the wolf, like the migrant, has been a problem for years, but that nobody in power is listening to them. While nationalist parties are on the rise everywhere in Europe, The wolves are coming back offers an insight into the rise of East German fringe political movements and agitation against both migrants and wolves by hunters, farmers, rioters and self-appointed saviours of the nation. The nationalist Alternative for Germany (AfD) represents the third-largest party in the German federal parliament, with representation in the vast majority of German states. They draw much of their support from regions that have been referred to as the 'post-traumatic places' in Eastern Germany, structured by realities of disownment, disenfranchisement, and a lack of democratic infrastructure. Pates and Leser provide an account of the societal roots of a new group of radical right parties, whose existence and success we always assumed to be impossible. -- .

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Product Information

General Fields

  • : 9781526147011
  • : Manchester University Press
  • : Manchester University Press
  • : March 2021
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Rebecca Pates, Julia Leser