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Activating the socialist past for a nativist future: far-right intellectuals and the prefigurative power of multidirectional nostalgia in Dresden

Göpffarth, Julian ORCID: 0000-0002-1128-4710 (2020) Activating the socialist past for a nativist future: far-right intellectuals and the prefigurative power of multidirectional nostalgia in Dresden. Social Movement Studies. 1 - 18. ISSN 1474-2837

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Identification Number: 10.1080/14742837.2020.1722628

Abstract

A widespread view on the success of populist far-right parties is that they mobilise economically left-behind voters via a backward-looking, nostalgic and thus illegitimate agenda. Yet, recent research has shown that it is often wealthy areas that vote for the German populist far-right AfD. Drawing on nationalism, memory-studies and social-movement literature, this article examines how nostalgia drives the activism of well-off local intellectual far-right groups. Based on ethnographic data gathered in Dresden, I argue that far-right intellectual activism in East Germany is facilitated by the convergence of two distinct but related forms of nostalgia. First, a positive nostalgia for a guilt-free past. Second, a negative nostalgia characterized not by a celebration of socialism, but the resistance to it. As multidirectional nostalgia this convergence makes the far right’s political memory resonate with local individual and social memories providing the cultural opportunity structure for electoral success. Infused with a forward-looking ‘anxious hope’, it prefigures an alternative far-right future.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: https://www.tandfonline.com/toc/csms20/current
Additional Information: © 2020 Informa UK
Divisions: Government
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
J Political Science > JC Political theory
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
Date Deposited: 01 Feb 2020 11:54
Last Modified: 17 Jul 2020 12:03
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/103265

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