Since 1990 the wolf has been a protected species in Germany; killing a wolf is a crime punishable by a prison sentence of up to five years. In Eastern Germany, where the political ground is shifting to the right, locals argue that the wolves are not German but Western Polish, undeserving of protection since they have invaded Saxon territory and threatened the local way of life. Many people in Eastern Germany feel that the wolf, like the migrant, has been a problem for years, but that nobody in power is listening to them. At a time when nationalist parties are on the rise everywhere in Europe, The wolves are coming back offers an insight into the rise of Eastern German fringe political movements and agitation against both migrants and wolves by hunters, farmers, rioters and self-appointed saviours of the nation. The nationalist Alternative for Germany (AfD) represents the third-largest party in the German federal parliament, with representation in the vast majority of German states. It draws much of its support from regions that have been referred to as the ‘post-traumatic places’ in Eastern Germany, structured by realities of disownment, disenfranchisement and a lack of democratic infrastructure. Pates and Leser provide an account of the societal roots of a new group of radical right parties, whose existence and success we always assumed to be impossible.
Frédéric Le Marcis, Luisa Enria, Sharon Abramowitz, Almudena-Mari Saez, and Sylvain Landry B. Faye
Ebola Epidemic in Guinea: Médecins sans
Frontières and the West African Ebola
Epidemic ’, in Hofman ,
The PoliticsofFear: Médecins sans Frontières and the
West African Ebola Epidemic ( Oxford ,
Oxford University Press ), pp.
63 – 84 , doi: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190624477
It’s not just about mere statistics, but about what the citizen is feeling. Perception is reality. That means what you feel is reality, too.
AfD MP Georg Pazderski, during a talk show on the Berlin-Brandenburg public broadcaster (RBB), September 2016 2
Wolves and the politicsoffear
In 2019 wolves became one of the most important topics during the local state election campaigns in many rural areas of three of the Eastern German Länder , Saxony, Thuringia and Brandenburg. Politicians from a wide range of conservative to nationalist and far
Expressive individuation has become one of the cornerstones of modern culture. So much so that we barely notice it, and we find it hard
to accept that it is such a recent idea in human history and would
have been incomprehensible in earlier times … We still instinctively
reach for the old vocabularies, the ones we owe to Enlightenment
In 2004, the BBC screened a documentary entitled The Power
of Nightmares: the Rise of the PoliticsofFear. Written and produced
by Adam Curtis, the documentary controversially argues that
This chapter examines the impact of British security policies on civil society and how it has shifted since 9/11. Current security politics are heavily influenced by global threats such as terrorism, organized and transnational crime. British domestic security policy is driven by the Clausewitzian notion that “to secure peace is to prepare for war.” We argue that such thinking, coupled with the politics of fear that has led to the securitization of British society, has far-reaching consequences, such as the erosion of our fundamental rights and liberties in preparation for the ever-evolving security challenges of the future. This securitization has become normalized, allowing the introduction of ever more authoritarian and repressive measures to “tackle” these “new security challenges.” Securitization has become an ideological tool of internal political repression, legitimizing the current neoliberal status quo and depoliticizing the masses. Current measures are undermining open democratic debates, our civil liberties such as the freedom of expression and privacy, and to some extent the freedom of the press. Securitization, we will argue, has increased our sense of insecurity and continues to have a negative effect on civil society. Rather than securitizing issues such as terrorism and organized crime, we should be looking to politicize them in non-security ways. Destroying the spirit of liberty and securitizing society will sow the seeds of despotism at our own door.
and dimensions of human life.
Individuals have become increasingly aware of unavoidable uncertainty and various types of risks, including new risks produced by late modernity (Beck 2006 ). The decline of the cosmopolitan, pacifist and modernist narratives and welfarist ideologies, accompanied by growing social divisions and conflicts, lead to contemporary anxieties and discourses of insecurity that link the lack of safety to ‘otherness’. This is reinforced by politicians and perpetuated by the media (Lianos 2013 ) with the ‘new politicsoffear
dictatorship. 7 Their problem is that the current government, many nationalists argue, merely pretends to be conservative, but it is, in fact, a new form of socialism, this time, profiting feminists, migrants and queers. And as such, they say, the current government is just another dictatorship, 8 and only Eastern Germans are savvy enough to recognise a ‘liberal dictatorship’ for what it is.
This explains two of the questions we started the book with: Why are some so susceptible to right-wing offers of a politicsoffear, and why do they cluster in the East? That leaves
-Vorpommern (see Figures 0.1 and 0.2 ). The trope of returning wolves resonates with a politicsoffear by populist parties such as the AfD. As the linguist Ruth Wodak explains, ‘such parties successfully construct fear and – related to the various real or imagined dangers – propose scapegoats that are blamed for threatening or actually damaging our societies’. 12 The mobilisation of fear is an effective strategic tool in political rhetoric; it turns migrants and refugees into presumed Islamist fanatics and terrorists, into knife murderers and rapists – irrespective of the
movies offer instances of this overarching theme. Our aim, in this
chapter, is to assess what monsters in general – and zombies in particular
– can tell us about the cultural politicsoffear.
In popular film, certain themes relating to power relations are repeated
(with and without variations). While the meaning of such themes is
never entirely fixed, as Stuart Hall suggests, they accrue an iconic yet
common-sense status through the repeated performance, staging, or
telling of the narrative (Hall, 1973; Procter, 2004: 59–61). Ryan and
Kellner propose that ‘[m
what they view as the public’s susceptibility to panic and how to combat it. What
is to be done about a public that is – it is claimed – easily duped and all too often
frightened? Taverne fears that a march of unreason threatens both the science and the
democracy on which our prospects for a safer and a better world depend.
Frank Furedi (2005) has similar concerns. He asks whether the politicsoffear, exemplified in public reactions to phenomena as varied as terrorism and
food-borne infection, threaten to overwhelm and infantilise the whole of our