Recent years have seen a populist wave 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 making waves with a series of extremist statements and overturning the delicate post-war political consensus. 'We are the People' examines the sudden growth and radicalisation of the AfD, from Eurosceptic beginnings in 2013 to a far-right populist party with an influential extremist, ethno-pluralist wing. The AfD's use of inflammatory, xenophobic and even Nazi-era language has raised fears that, once again, Germany has a right-extremist party in parliament.
Bochum lucidly explains the group's ideology and how their brand of populism is distinct and based on German experiences and history.
Worldwide political and economic insecurity make it possible support for the AfD will grow in coming years and Bochum examines ways in which experiences both in Germany and the UK illustrate how the populist tide can be stemmed, warning against the adoption of populist policies by the political mainstream.