Covid pandemic, climate crisis, the Russian war of aggression, inflation and energy crisis: Many crises at once are unsettling in these months. The promise of security and prosperity, which has been quite stable for a long time, is beginning to falter. It is not yet clear how Germany and the world will get through these crises.
On the streets, people are voicing their displeasure; there is talk of a “hot fall” or a “raging winter”. On one side, trade unions and left-wing social movements are active; on the other, the energy protests of the extreme right seamlessly follow their mobilizations against the state's Corona policies. Protest itself is legitimate, but especially in the protests of the far right anti-democratic tendencies are very clearly evident.
Democracy and social cohesion are fundamentally challenged: What do we know about the current polarization and stabilization tendencies in our society? Where do the lines run between legitimate protest and dubious mobilization by extremist groups? How much radicalism is important for our society and what do we know about radicalization processes? What role does social media play in these dynamics? What is the state of prevention, democracy promotion and political education efforts in Germany?
In order to provide orientation in this situation, the Hessian State Agency for Civic Education (HLZ), in cooperation with PRIF researchers Hande Abay Gaspar, Julian Junk and Daniel Mullis, has compiled answers to these questions. Although the answers refer to current events, they focus on the preparation of broader social science knowledge in order to help form opinions and provide an introduction to complex social science contexts.