Authoritarian Populism and Political Subjectivation in Saxony
The Federal Republic of Germany is characterized by multiple crises and increasing social polarization. In this context, Saxony represents an (alleged) aberrant path of authoritarian transformation of society, and "Saxon democracy" was already seen in 2012 as a synonym for the creeping decay of democratic values and structures, illiberal responses to social crises, and the strengthening of the extreme right. At the same time, the "Alternative for Germany" (AfD) is challenging the democratic system, especially in Saxony, with its continued successes in state and federal elections. It bundles the electorate for authoritarian policies and regressive crisis management: The renationalization of politics, racist migration and integration policies, stereotypical gender images, and an advocacy of fossil fuel energy and economic policies are central components of the AfD's program. Similarly, the ongoing protests around coronavirus protection measures show that the populist potentials for the AfD's anti-system policies are far from exhausted.
This research project investigates the potentials of regressive political subjectification in the everyday life of residents of a large city and a medium-sized city in Saxony. Regarding the causes of the AfD's rise to success as well as broader transformations of everyday life, the project uses a multi-methodological and spatially sensitive approach to investigate how residents perceive the changes in their environment and what potentials exist for democratic intervention.