Armin Pfahl-Traughber (* 1963 in Schwalmstadt ) is a German political scientist and sociologist . He was head of division in the right-wing extremism department at the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution . Since 2004 he has been a professor at the Federal University for Public Administration .
Pfahl-Traughber studied political science (diploma) and sociology (diploma) from 1981 to 1988 at the Gerhard Mercator University in Duisburg and the Philipps University in Marburg . He was a fellow of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation and in 1992 was at H. Julius Schoeps with the dissertation The anti-Semitic antifreimaurische conspiracy myth in the Weimar Republic and the Nazi state to Dr. phil. PhD. Then he was a lecturer at the University of Marburg.
From 1994 to 2004 he was a research assistant and head of division in the department for right-wing extremism at the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV). From 1998 to 2004 he held a teaching position at the University of Cologne . In 2004 he became a professor at the Federal University of Applied Sciences for Public Administration in Brühl, Rhineland . He has also been a lecturer at the Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn since 2007 . He is a lecturer at the Academy for the Protection of the Constitution in Heimerzheim . His main research interests include the history of political ideas , political extremism , terrorism and anti-Semitism .
Understanding the term extremism
Pfahl-Traughber defines extremism as a “collective term for different political endeavors that are directed against the norms and rules of a democratic constitutional state and are characterized by ideological claims to absoluteness, political authoritarianism, an identity of society and friend-foe stereotypes”. The view based on democratic theory, which focuses on relevant norms and not the state, differs from a legal or constitutional protection view.
In addition, Pfahl-Traughber differentiates a political and social dimension from extremism: The first-mentioned form includes political organizations from parties to clubs and cells. Social extremism means the spread of relevant attitudes and mentalities among the population as part of political culture. On this point too, the understanding of extremism in terms of form and content goes beyond the view of the constitutional protection authorities.
Pfahl-Traughber describes the Autonomous as a left-wing extremist subculture that sees violence as a legitimate means of political engagement. Nonetheless, it did not pose any threat to “overcoming the political system”. Their "deep philosophical imprint" rejects the "principles of the Enlightenment and modernity" and "unconsciously ties in with the ideas of Romanticism".
Pfahl-Traughber defines the “ New Right ” as a spiritual stream of intellectuals who are oriented towards the “ Conservative Revolution ” of the Weimar Republic . Since this was decidedly against a liberal democracy , he states that its current supporters are clearly right-wing extremist. In contrast, Wolfgang Gessenharter believes that the “New Right” stands between conservatism and right-wing extremism. The differences between Gessenharter and Pfahl-Traughber shaped the research debate on the topic in the nineteen nineties.
Reform of the protection of the constitution
Even before the public criticism of the constitutional protection authorities with regard to the failure to recognize the serial murders of the “ National Socialist Underground ”, Pfahl-Traughber pleaded for a reform of the protection of the constitution based on three aspects: increasing analytical competence, clarifying management problems and increasing transparency (motto: “So much secrecy as necessary, as much transparency as possible ”). In a “plea for a reform of the security authorities towards more analysis”, he specifically called for the establishment of analysis units with a scientific background in the form of “think tanks”, similar to the “Research Center for Terrorism / Extremism” in the Federal Criminal Police Office .
Wolfgang Gessenharter accuses Pfahl-Traughber of methodical schematism: He does not differentiate adequately with phenomena such as the New Right : "In his investigations, Pfahl-Traughber basically maintains the perspective of the protection of the constitution." Unlike Gessenharter, who has the New Right in a "hinge function" between conservatism and right-wing extremism, Pfahl-Traughber assigns the New Right to right-wing extremism and considers Gessenharter's assessment to be trivializing.
Hans-Helmuth Knütter, counted by political scientists as part of the “New Right”, has this to say about Pfahl-Traughber's definition of “New Right”: “Here, in the sense of a catchphrase of ' middle extremism ', the emergence of a right-wing intellectual scene is discussed consequently applies. In this respect, this essay is also an expression of a political culture in Germany that is increasingly characterized by denunciation, domestic taboos and declarations of enemies. ... Here the suspicion of extremism is extended far beyond the framework of anti-constitutional right-wing extremism. "
- Independent expert group on anti-Semitism of the German Bundestag (since 2010)
- Advisory board of the Alliance for Democracy and Tolerance
- Advisory Board of the Hans Albert Institute (since 2020)
Since the early 1990s, Pfahl-Traughber has published regularly in various yearbooks, newspapers, magazines and online projects such as:
- From politics and contemporary history
- Sheets for German and international politics
- Look to the right
- "this side - the humanist magazine " , magazine of the Humanist Association of Germany
- DÖW releases
- Right end of the line
- Humanistic press service
- Yearbook Extremism and Democracy
- Public Safety Yearbook
- New Society / Frankfurter Hefte
Between 1989 and 2010 he also published at least five articles in the taz . In 2002 he also wrote an article for the handbook right-wing radicalism . Since 2008 he has published the yearbook for extremism and terrorism research . He also wrote in the monthly magazine Mut .
- The anti-Semitic-anti-Masonic conspiracy myth in the Weimar Republic and in the Nazi state , Braumüller, Vienna 1993, ISBN 3-700-31017-X
- People's voice? Right-wing populism in Europe , Dietz, Bonn 1994, ISBN 3-8012-3059-7
- Right-wing extremism. A critical inventory after reunification (= series of publications Extremism & Democracy , vol. 5), Bouvier, 2., ext. Edition 1995, ISBN 3-416-02547-4
- Conservative Revolution and New Right. Right-wing extremist intellectuals against the democratic constitutional state , Leske & Budrich, Opladen 1998, ISBN 3-8100-1888-0
- Anti-Semitism in German History , Leske & Budrich, Opladen 2002, ISBN 3-8100-3691-9
- “Building blocks” of a theory about “conspiracy theories”: definitions, manifestations, functions and causes . In: Helmut Reinalter (Ed.): Conspiracy Theories: Theory - History - Effect . StudienVerlag, Innsbruck 2015, ISBN 978-3-7065-1510-8 .
- Freemasons and Jews, capitalists and communists as enemy images of right-wing extremist conspiracy ideologies from the German Empire to the present , in: Uwe Backes (Ed.): Right-wing extremist ideologies in history and present , Böhlau, Cologne 2003, pp. 193-234
- The revaluation of values as part of a strategy of the cultural revolution. The reinterpretation of democracy by right-wing extremist intellectuals , in: Wolfgang Gessenharter u. Thomas Pfeiffer (Ed.): The New Right. A danger to democracy? , Springer VS, Wiesbaden 2004, ISBN 3-8100-4162-9 , pp. 73-94
- Right-wing extremism in the Federal Republic , October 2000, CH Beck, Munich (4th, current edition 2006), ISBN 978-3-40647-244-2
- Anti-Semitic and non-anti-Semitic criticism of Israel , enlightenment and criticism 1/2007
- The Islamism Compatibility of Islam . Enlightenment and criticism 13/2007
- The "second spring" of the NPD: Development, ideology, organization and strategy of a right-wing extremist party . Policy Future Forum, Vol. 92, Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, 2008
- Open protection of democracy in an open society. Public relations and prevention as instruments of the protection of the constitution , as ed. With Thomas Grumke , Budrich, Opladen 2010, ISBN 978-3-86649-297-4
- Left-wing extremism in Germany. A critical inventory . Springer VS, Wiesbaden 2014, ISBN 978-3-658-04506-7 .
- Right-wing extremism in Germany. A critical inventory. Springer VS, Wiesbaden 2019, ISBN 978-3-658-24275-6 .
- The AfD and right-wing extremism. An analysis from a political science perspective. Springer VS, Wiesbaden 2019, ISBN 978-3-658-25179-6 .
- Literature by and about Armin Pfahl-Traughber in the catalog of the German National Library
- Works by and about Armin Pfahl-Traughber in the German Digital Library
- Search for Armin Pfahl-Traughber in the SPK digital portal of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation
- 10 questions to Prof. Dr. Armin Pfahl-Traughber , Political Science Alumni, University of Bonn
- Contributions by Armin Pfahl-Traughber to the Humanist Press Service
- Armin Pfahl-Traughber: The anti-Semitic-anti-Freemason conspiracy myth in the Weimar Republic and in the Nazi state . 1993, p. 1.
- Festschrift for the 25th anniversary of the School for the Protection of the Constitution PDF
- lecture a. Conversation with Armin Pfahl-Traughber . Retrieved April 8, 2015.
- Armin Pfahl-Traughber: Extremism and Terrorism. A definition from a political science perspective . In: Armin Pfahl-Traughber (Ed.): Yearbook for Research on Extremism and Terrorism 2008 , Brühl 2008, p. 32f.
- Armin Pfahl-Traughber: Social Potentials of Political Right-Wing Extremism . In: processes, No. 197 from March 2012, pp. 4–20.
- Armin Pfahl-Traughber: Die Autonomen, Portrait of a left-wing extremist subculture . In: From politics and contemporary history , supplement to the weekly newspaper Das Parlament , February 20, 1998, pp. 36 ff. (39, 46).
- cf. Armin Pfahl-Traughber: Conservative Revolution and New Right. Right-wing extremist intellectuals against the democratic constitutional state . Opladen 1998.
- Wolfgang Gessenharter: Will the Republic fall? The New Right and its support from politics and the media . Munich 1994
- Armin Pfahl-Traughber: Analysis competence and public relations work of the protection of the constitution. Necessities for the protection of democracy and requirements for its feasibility . In: Thomas Grumke / Armin Pfahl-Traughber (ed.): Open protection of democracy in an open society. Public relations and prevention as instruments of the protection of the constitution , Opladen 2010, pp. 15–32.
- Armin Pfahl-Traughber: The lessons from the non-recognition of the NSU serial murders. Plea for a reform of the security authorities towards more analysis . In: Kriminalistik, No. 1 from January 2013, pp. 17–21.
- Wolfgang Gessenharter: The intellectual new right and the new radical right in Germany . In: From politics and contemporary history , supplement to the weekly newspaper Das Parlament, B9-10 / 98 of February 20, 1998, pp. 20 ff. (21).
- Richard Stöss : The "new right" in the Federal Republic . " Federal Agency for Civic Education , December 17, 2007
- Thomas Pfeiffer : Culture as a question of power. The New Right in Germany . Published by the Ministry of the Interior of North Rhine-Westphalia, Department for the Protection of the Constitution, Düsseldorf 2003, p. 117.
- Hans-Helmuth Knütter: Among the blind is the one-eyed king . In: Uwe Backes / Eckhard Jesse (eds.): Yearbook Extremism & Democracy . Vol. 7, Baden-Baden 1995, pp. 281-283, here p. 282.
- BfDT Alliance for Democracy and Tolerance: Advisory Board | BfDT Alliance for Democracy and Tolerance , accessdate: August 22, 2016
- Advisory Board - Hans Albert Institute. Retrieved on February 23, 2020 (German).
- Federal University of Applied Sciences: Writings on extremism and terrorism research: Yearbook for extremism and terrorism research .
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|BRIEF DESCRIPTION||German sociologist and political scientist|
|DATE OF BIRTH||1963|
|PLACE OF BIRTH||Schwalmstadt|