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New publication: "'Islamization' as rationalized affective politics. Examples from grassroot activists from the far-right"

Aletta Diefenbach's (TP C04) new article was published in a special edition of Soziale Welt

News from Jul 13, 2022

The far-right currently mobilizes successfully through the anti-Muslim idea of an alleged »islamization«. The article takes an emotion-theoretical perspective on interview material from group discussions with members of far-right groups (AfD, Pegida, Identitarian Movement) and reconstructs how the idea gains intersubjective plausibility. The narrative evolves symbolically and affectively ambivalent between the interviewees, but follows three forms of modern rationalization: rationality in the sense of a critical use of reason, cultural rationality in the sense of constitutional claim-making, and communicative rationality in the sense of consensus-oriented communication. They operate on the level of social analysis, the legitimation of knowledge, social criticism, and the style of conversation, each releasing its own dynamics of affect. These ways of speaking provide a more comprehensive picture of right-wing strategies of criticism of Islam. Research shows how the idea emerges through hatred and agitation breaking with the dominant political culture. However, this fear of Islam, mediated by factuality, is an attempt to include itself into the discourse of political liberalism. Finally, the paper outlines how this bourgeois politics of affect helps to specify the thesis of the emotionalization of the public sphere.

Key words: Islamization, affects of rationalizations, the far right, political liberalism, emotionalization of the public sphere, group discussions

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