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American University

American University Experts Available to Discuss Far-Right Party AfD's Possible Election to German Parliament

22-Sep-2017 1:05 PM EDT, by American University

Michael Brenner directs AU’s Center for Israel Studies. He also holds the chair of Jewish History and Culture at the Ludwig-Maximilians University of Munich. Brenner said: "AfD might become Germany's third-largest party with around 10 percent of the votes. This is a worrisome development but it should also be noted that, compared with most other countries in Europe, the far-right in Germany is not a major force, and the democratic parties in the center will clearly continue to dominate Germany politics. It is also noteworthy that, in many respects, the demands of the AfD do not differ substantially from the policies of the present U.S. administration. Still, considering Germany’s past, and the rise of anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim rhetoric, at times combined with anti-Semitic stereotypes, this possibility carries with it a different weight than anywhere else."

Garret Martin, a Professorial Lecturer at AU's School of International Service, can comment on a wide range of topics related to the European Union, U.S. and European foreign policy, European national politics, and NATO. He is an Editor at Large at the Washington, D.C.-based European Institute and a Board Member at European Affairs. He has written widely on transatlantic relations, both in the field of history and contemporary affairs. Martin said: "If, as expected, Alternative für Deutschland (Alternative for Germany, AfD), the Eurosceptic and anti-immigration party, gains enough votes to be represented for the first time in the federal parliament, it will show that Germany is not immune to populism. By being represented in the parliament, AfD could exert clear pressure on the next government when it comes to refugees and integration policies.”

Cynthia Miller-Idriss is Associate Professor of Education and Sociology and Director of the International Training and Education Program in AU's School of Education. Miller-Idriss, author of the forthcoming The Extreme Gone Mainstream (Princeton University Press), can comment on extremism, youth radicalization and violence, educational interventions, and the far right-wing. She is the co-principal investigator of a global research network on youth and extremism (funded by the Economic and Social Research Council); co-chair of a European/North American research network on radicalism and violence (hosted by the Council for European Studies); and an expert on far-right wing German youth culture. Her op-eds on extremism and the spate of hate incidents in the United States have been featured in both The Washington Post and Fortune magazine.

Stephen Silvia, professor School of International Service, is an expert in German and comparative politics. He can also discuss issues related to industrial relations, international economics, and international trade and labor relationsSilvia said: “Even though it's all but certain that Angela Merkel will continue as Chancellor, the entrance into the Bundestag of the far-right Alternative for Germany party will fundamentally alter German politics because it will shift Germany's political center of gravity significantly to the right and put on the agenda topics that the centrist parties took great pains to avoid, such as immigration, multiculturalism, and the costs as well as the benefits of being in the European Union.”

To secure interviews with these experts, please email or call AU Communications contacts: Rebecca Basu, 202-885-5978, [email protected] or Natasha Abel, 202-885-5943, [email protected]


American University is a leader in global education, enrolling a diverse student body from throughout the United States and nearly 130 countries. Located in Washington, D.C., the university provides opportunities for academic excellence, public service, and internships in the nation’s capital and around the world.    

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