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Rethinking the German nation as German Dasein: intellectuals and Heidegger’s philosophy in contemporary German New Right nationalism

Göpffarth, Julian (2018) Rethinking the German nation as German Dasein: intellectuals and Heidegger’s philosophy in contemporary German New Right nationalism. Journal of Political Ideologies. ISSN 1356-9317 (In Press)

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Abstract

Most scholarship on far-right parties focuses on populism while largely ignoring the role of intellectualism. Disregarding the increasing support by well-educated voters, much of this literature appears to presume that populism and intellectualism in the far-right are separate rather than complementary phenomena. Against this view, this article uses Skinner’s concept of ‘innovating ideologists’ to explore the role of Heideggerian philosophy in the interplay between German New Right (GNR) intellectualism and Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) populism. To do so, Heidegger’s conception of ‘people’ is outlined before turning to the GNR’s use of these concepts in articles, books and speeches, by both GNR intellectuals and leading AfD members. The analysis shows that GNR and AfD actors refer to Heideggerian philosophy both in the context of intellectual circles and to wider audiences to legitimise an exclusive idea of nationhood based not on the illicit idea of race but on a more acceptable idea of history. The findings suggest that intellectualism and populism in the German far-right are closely connected. The article concludes that neglecting GNR intellectualism means underestimating the GNR’s and AfD’s capacity to bring about social change.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group
Divisions: European Institute
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
D History General and Old World > DD Germany
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Date Deposited: 07 Feb 2019 11:39
Last Modified: 01 Oct 2019 15:21
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/100049

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