The Management of HateNation, Affect, and the Governance of Right-Wing Extremism in Germany

The Management of HateNation, Affect, and the Governance of Right-Wing Extremism in Germany

Nitzan Shoshan

Print publication date: 2018

ISBN: 9780691171951

Publisher: Princeton University Press

Abstract

Since German reunification in 1990, there has been widespread concern about marginalized young people who, faced with bleak prospects for their future, have embraced increasingly violent forms of racist nationalism that glorify the country's Nazi past. This book reveals how young right-wing extremists in East Berlin contest contemporary notions of national identity and defy the clichés that others use to represent them. The book situates them within the governance of affect, a broad body of discourses and practices aimed at orchestrating their attitudes toward cultural difference—from legal codes and penal norms to rehabilitative techniques and pedagogical strategies. Governance has conventionally been viewed as rational administration, while emotions have ordinarily been conceived of as individual states. The book questions both assumptions. It offers a fresh view of governance as pregnant with affect and of hate as publicly mediated and politically administered. It argues that the state's policies push these youths into a right-extremist corner instead of integrating them in ways that could curb their nationalist racism. The point is certain to resonate across European and non-European contexts where, amid robust xenophobic nationalisms, hate becomes precisely the object of public dispute. The book provides a rare and disturbing look inside Germany's right-wing extremist world, and shines critical light on a German nationhood haunted by its own historical contradictions.