Future of Democracy

“Creeping into Power” analyses historical interpretations of the New Right

The book is edited by Policy Fellow Andreas Audretsch and historian Claudia Gatzka

The book “Creeping into Power” examines how the New Right instrumentalises history to gain the power to interpret our future. The book will be published in German in July. It is not only an analysis but a call to counter the misuse of history.

The New Right is striving for power in Europe. One of its strongest strategies: the instrumentalisation of history to anchor its ideology in the minds of the people. Myths about the nation, its heroes and struggles for freedom are intended to make nationalism and racial thinking socially acceptable again. This shows: We must fight for history to give the liberal values of our society a future.

In Germany, the AfD evokes over 1000 years of glorious Germanism. In Italy, Matteo Salvini stages himself in the tradition of Italian freedom fighters. In Hungary, Viktor Orbán wants to lead his country back to “historical greatness”. And even for the Corona crisis, the New Right is trying to propagate a renaissance of nationalism as a solution. The national illusion of “clean”, homogenous societies shall become the political consensus of the future.

The book “Creeping into Power” (OT: “Schleichend an die Macht”) analyses the strategy of the New Right in Europe and is at the same time a call to politicians and academics, teachers and civil society to confront the misuse of history.

Book to be Published in July 2020

The book will be published by Dietz Verlag in July 2020, but can already be pre-ordered here. It contains contributions by Andreas Audretsch, Claudia Gatzka, Paul Jürgensen, Hedwig Richter, Jürgen Kocka, Markus Linden and Stephan Ozsváth. In an interview with the German online newspaper “Zeit Online” the editors give a first outline: “The new right-wing theses are far-reaching” (DE).

About the Editors

Andreas Audretsch is a Policy Fellow at Das Progressive Zentrum and most recently worked as Deputy Head of the Press Office and Spokesman of the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth. His professional roots lie in journalism, and he has worked for Deutschlandradio, RBB and WDR. Andreas Audretsch studied politics, journalism and sociology and received his doctorate from the Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences at the University of Potsdam. He is a member of the board of Bündnis90/Die Grünen Berlin.

Claudia Gatzka is a historian at the Department of Modern and Contemporary History of Western Europe at the Albert-Ludwigs University of Freiburg. She previously worked at the Humboldt University in Berlin. For her dissertation on democracy in Germany and Italy she received the Tiburtius Award of the universities of Berlin.