The ‘Autonomous Nationalists’: new developments and contradictions in the German neo-Nazi movement

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This article examines the action repertoires, symbolism and political ideology of the ‘Autonomous Nationalists’ (Autonome Nationalisten in German) that have emerged as a sub-cultural youth trend within the German extreme right. Agitating within a landscape of networked, extra-parliamentary neo-Nazi organisations, Autonomous Nationalist activism forms a specific subsection within the German extreme right that copies the styles, codes and militancy of anarchist and radical left activists. A political analysis of its texts and slogans reveals a self- definition as ‘anti - capitalist’ and ‘national socialist’ . A particular mobilisation potential beyond the traditional and party-political forms of extreme nationalism is fuelled by an openly displayed confrontational militancy, mostly directed at anti-fascist and left-wing groups and individuals, and by strong counter-cultural aspects. The article analyses how this emphasis on individual forms of expressions and rebellion appears to stand in contradiction with fascist understandings of organisation and has put the movement at odds with the established neo-Nazi scene in Germany.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)295-318
Number of pages24
JournalInterface: a journal for and about social movements
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2013

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Published under the Creative Commons Attribution Non commercial No derivatives licence.


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