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We are the People


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Bochum tackles the most concerning aspect of the current political debate in Germany. An insight into the rise of populist movements across continental Europe.

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Recent years have seen a surge of populism across the Western world, exposing the vulnerabilities of liberal democracy and driving the political agenda to the right. In 2017 the far-right populist party - the Alternative for Germany (AfD) - swept into the Bundestag, claiming to be the voice of the people against a corrupt liberal elite and overturning the delicate post-war political consensus in Germany.'We are the People' examines the sudden growth and radicalisation of the AfD, from eurosceptic beginnings in 2013 to its increasing extremism. Its leaders' use of inflammatory, xenophobic and even Nazi-era language mirrors that of emerging far-right forces acrossmuch of the Western world. Bochum lucidly examines the group's ideology, showing that their brand of populism is distinct and based on German experiences and history.

About the Author

Penny Bochum is a political researcher and writer working in Berlin and London. She has worked for Labour MPs and the SPD Bundestagsfraktion and contributed to a range of publications including Can Labour Win? The Hard Road to Power.


"The book offers readers a valuable insight into the development of the AfD and its various factions, providing a useful springboard from which readers can broaden their understandings of the contemporary German political landscape and its recent controversies." * LSE Review of Books blog *
"A well-written introduction to the subject." * The Chartist Magazine *
"We Are the People provides a timely attempt to analyse what is driving [the AfD], and how to counter its appeal." * The World Today *
"Penny Bochum offers a timely analysis of the rise and radicalisation of the AfD. As 'never again' comes dangerously close to 'once again,' many Europeans have yet to avail themselves fully of the threat the new far right poses to our democratic politics. The book shines a light on this danger. It is an important contribution to efforts to protect European societies from these new authoritarians." -- Dr. Luke Cooper, consultant researcher at the London School of Economics
"This extremely insightful work not only expertly charts the rise of the AfD in Germany, but puts forward a convincing prospectus to deal with the populist challenge in advanced democracies. We Are the People argues that established parties must become more effective at speaking to voters, bridging social divides, while combating declining faith in government and political institutions. The book is a must-read." -- Dr. Patrick Diamond, Queen Mary, University of London

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