Right-wing conservatism

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Right-wing conservatism describes a variety of conservatism that is located in the political spectrum to the right of center , especially to the right of Christian democracy. The radical and extreme right, which, in contrast to this, reject the constitutional framework and democracy in part or completely, are not counted as right-wing conservatism.

National conservatism is partly synonymously today, but also partly as a section of the legal conservatism emphasizing "national interests" (not in folkish terms) understood.

Political science use

Right-wing conservatism found its way into political linguistic usage in the Federal Republic of Germany from the 1980s, parallel to the establishment of the Republican Party . The aim of the founding of the party at the time was to establish “a right-wing conservative alternative” to the Union parties. According to Holger Czitrich, the Republicans were initially an expression of an “increasingly independent organizational profiling of right-wing conservatism”.

In political science, the term is used for positions on the right in the conservative spectrum that cannot be assigned to either right-wing radicalism or right-wing extremism . However, the assessment and use of the term is subject to strong fluctuation. A characteristic of right-wing conservative parties, for example, according to more recent standard literature, is that "they have no affinities with ethnic nationalism and are directed neither against the basic principles of democracy nor against the existing constitutional order."

In addition, skepticism about modernization and a priority of the community over the individual are seen as characteristic. The transition to the New Right is fluid.

Historical use

In the historical context, parties such as the German Conservative Party of the Empire or the DNVP and the Bavarian Central Party in the Weimar Republic are also referred to as right-wing conservative . These political expressions typical of the time also include ethnic and anti-Semitic positions in the term. The same applies to the Conservative Revolution with its anti-democratic worldview.

In connection with actors of the New Right who see themselves in the tradition of this conservative revolution, Heiko Kauffmann, Helmut Kellershohn and Jobst Paul report on a diffuse naming practice: “One of the reasons for this is undoubtedly the emphatically nebulous, strategic handling of terms, the völkisch - Show right-wing conservative actors. The fact that they often undermine the scientific arena in a flirtatious and demonstrative way turns out to be only a by-product of a more comprehensive populist vision: With the right-wing game with meandering terms, the terrain of the middle of society can be broken up. "


Confessions to right-wing conservatism can almost always be found among authors and organizations of the New Right in order to distinguish themselves from right-wing radicalism and right-wing extremism. This also applied to the party The Republicans, observed by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution from 1992 to 2006, who campaigned for the state elections in Baden-Württemberg in 2001 with the slogan The Republicans - right-wing conservative, democratic and loyal to the constitution . The Junge Freiheit designated to be quite conservative.

Individual evidence

  1. Richard Stöss : The right edge of the party system. In: Oskar Niedermayer (Ed.): Handbook of political party research. VS Springer, Wiesbaden 2013, pp. 563–618, here p. 578; Agreeing: Oskar Niedermayer : A new competitor in the party system? The alternative for Germany. In: ders. (Ed.): The parties after the federal election 2013 . Springer, Wiesbaden 2014, ISBN 978-3-658-02852-7 , pp. 175–207, here: p. 196.
  2. ^ Henrik Steglich: Right wing parties in Germany: Conditions of their success and failure. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2010, p. 89.
  3. Holger Czitrich: Conservatism and National Identity in the FRG - Liberal Conservatives and National Conservatives in the 1980s. In: Conservatism Research , Volume 12. Scientific contributions from the Friedrich Schiller University Jena, 1990, p. 76.
  4. Richard Stöss : The right edge of the party system. In: Oskar Niedermayer (Ed.): Handbook of political party research. VS Springer, Wiesbaden 2013, pp. 563–618, here p. 578.
  5. Markus K. Grimm: The problematic reinvention of the Italian right. The Alleanza Nazionale and its way to the center. Springer VS, Giessen 2015, p. 73.
  6. cf. Wolfgang Gessenharter : In the field of tension. Intellectual New Rights and Constitution. In: Wolfgang Gessenharter (Ed.): The New Right. A danger to democracy? Pp. 31-51, here p. 32; and so: Brothers in the new right spirit. What unites Jörg Haider and Ronald Schill - but also divides them. ( Memento from February 27, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF) Text on the page of Wolfgang Gessenharter at the Helmut Schmidt University, abbreviated published in the Frankfurter Rundschau , July 12, 2003
  7. ^ Heinrich August Winkler : Quite ordinary anti-Semites . In: Der Spiegel . No. 47 , 2003 ( online ).
  8. Elina Kiiskinen: Bavarian Middle Party (BMP) - German National People's Party (DNVP), 1918–1932 / 33. In: Historical Lexicon of Bavaria . February 28, 2011, accessed November 16, 2018 .
  9. Heiko Kauffmann, Helmut Kellershohn, Jobst Paul (eds.): Völkische Bande. Decadence and Rebirth - Analyzes of Right Ideology . Muenster.
  10. Answer to a brochure of the State Office for the Protection of the Constitution, published by the parliamentary group The Republicans in the Baden-Württemberg State Parliament, Stuttgart, February 2001