Party-Political Responses to the Alternative for Germany in Comparative Perspective

David F. Patton, Connecticut College

Originally published in German Politics and Society, Issue 134 Vol. 38, No. 1 (Spring 2020): 77–104 © Georgetown University and Berghahn Books.


Reposted here with permission of journal editor.


In September 2017, the Alternative for Germany (AfD) became the first far-right party to join the Bundestag in nearly seventy years. Yet, it was not the first time that a challenger party entered the parliament to the chagrin of the political establishment. After introducing the AfD, the BHE, the Greens, and the Party of Democratic Socialism (PDS), the article analyzes how established parties treated the newcomers and why they did so. This comparative perspective offers insights into the AfD’s challenge, how distinctive the policies toward the AfD have been, and why the established parties have dealt with the AfD as they have.


The views expressed in this paper are solely those of the author.