When the centre moves to the right – IFSH experts on extremism attend Hamburg symposium

PD Dr. Martin Kahl, Stephen Albrecht

The challenges globalisation, digitalisation and migration facing our society are unsettling for many people. Some respond with isolationism, aggression and misanthropic views. The tone of political debate is becoming harsher, and extreme right-wing slogans seem to have become socially acceptable once again. In late May, a one-day symposium led by Diakonie Hamburg, Frauenwerk der Nordkirche and beratungsnetzwerk.hamburg (an advisory network combatting right-wing extremism) addressed such questions as: how can we prevent further societal polarisation? How can we strengthen those forces that adhere to democratic values and human rights? The IFSH experts on extremism, private lecturer Dr. Martin Kahl and Stephen Albrecht, dealt with the topic “Hate on the Internet.” Especially on the extreme right-wing end of the spectrum, political violence is often committed with the help of the internet, and hate is often stoked on social media. In their workshop, the experts showed how new, virtual alliances are formed and how extreme right-wing ideas and violent rhetoric have entered the public debate.