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“Gender, sexuality, and family politics of the Alternative für Deutschland: Discomfort with postmodern fickleness?”

Author: Christopher Finke

Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Helmut Breitmeier


The right-wing populist party Alternative für Deutschland’s (AfD) development from a mostly EU- and Euro-critical to a largely anti-immigrant and Islamophobic party has been met with increasing electoral success. Gripped by these topics, public discourse, however, largely overlooks the party’s traditional and heteronormative positions on family life and sexuality as well as their rejection of gender studies, gender mainstreaming etc. These positions are insofar paradoxical, as for one, Alice Weidel, one of the party heads, is openly gay while for the other, the inner-party platform “Alternative Homosexuelle” has formed within the AfD which decisively agitates against political and societal efforts against discrimination of gender minorities and sexual minorities. Thus, it is this dissertation’s goal to uncover the AfD’s positions on gender, sexuality, and family policy and research potential causes for holding such positions in the specific context of the right-wing populist AfD.

The theoretical foundation of this dissertation relies on populism theory and seeks to investigate the AfD’s fit into this category. Subsequently, the similarly theoretical field of alienation is explored, using it to investigate causes of the populist upsurge in the case of the AfD. This doctoral dissertation will investigate the AfD’s small inquiries in parliament, speeches and press releases made by AfD members in three state-level parliamentary fractions.

Finally, an analysis will be conducted to answer the question, whether the established AfD policies on gender, sexuality, and family are part of a right-wing counterrevolution against an increasing postmodern ephemerality of traditionally known values as well as cognitive and affective reference points, which a rigid and narrow right-wing ideology of belonging and tradition seeks to rectify.