AfD gegen die Grünen? Rechtspopulismus und klimapolitische Polarisierung in Deutschland

Journal article

Otteni, Cyrill & Manes Weisskircher (2022) AfD gegen die Grünen? Rechtspopulismus und klimapolitische Polarisierung in Deutschland, Forschungsjournal Soziale Bewegungen 35 (2).

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The political conflict over global warming has shaped recent German politics. This article examines the overlooked role of the Alternative for Germany (AfD) in climate politics and shows that contemporary populist radical right parties do not pursue „single-issue“ politics. First, the article focuses on the supply-side. It shows how AfD, in stark contrast to its competitors, denies anthropogenic climate change, and discusses specific energy policy measures the party focuses on. Second, the article documents that AfD’s positioning is consistent with the views of its voters. The supply corresponds to the demand: „climate-skeptical“ parts of the German population are more likely to be sympathetic to AfD. Importantly, this does not only concern their general views on anthropogenic climate change, but also specific policies such as the expansion of renewable energy or the end of nuclear energy and the closure of coal pits. The AfD forms a clear counterpoint to the sympathizers of the Greens. In conclusion, the article discusses the implications of these results, with particular attention to current debates on societal cleavages and increasing polarization.

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