The Alternative for Germany

Monday, March 1, 2021, 12:00 - 1:00 pm EST // 18:00 - 19:00 CET

Here to Stay?

After its dramatic entrance into the Bundestag in 2017 as the third largest party, the Alternative for Germany (AfD) went from strength to strength in various elections—in some cases with more than 20 percent of the vote, especially in the east. But, as the COVID-19 pandemic transformed life, as the party faces increased scrutiny from the authorities, and as in-fighting persists, its support has declined to 8-10 percent in polls. Still, unlike other right-wing parties previously, the AfD has not self-destructed and will almost certainly be back in parliament later this year. This webinar will examine the state of the party in the 2021 election year, as well as the level and nature of its support.

Dr. Sarah E. Wiliarty is Associate Professor of Government at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut. She received her B.A. from Harvard and her PhD from the University of California, Berkeley. Her research focuses on European politics, women in politics, political parties, energy policy in Europe, and political leadership. Her scholarship has appeared in journals such as German Politics, German Politics and Society, and Politics and Gender. She is the author of The CDU and the Politics of Gender in Germany: Bringing Women to the Party (Cambridge University Press). Her forthcoming book chapter “How the Christian Democrats Manage to Adapt to the Silent Counter-Revolution” examines the CDU/CSU response to the rise of the Alternative for Germany.

Dr. Louise K. Davidson-Schmich is Professor of Political Science at the University of Miami and Editor of German Politics. Her research focuses on gender and sexuality and politics in Germany and beyond. She and Dr. Wiliarty recently co-edited a two-volume special issue of the journal German Politics and Society focusing on the rise of the AfD and responses to it. Davidson-Schmich is also the author of the book Gender Quotas and Democratic Participation: Recruiting Candidates for Elective Offices in Germany (University of Michigan Press).

This webinar will convene via Zoom. Please contact Elizabeth Caruth at with any questions.

This webinar is supported by the German Marshall Fund of the United States and the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany. It is presented in partnership with The Aston Centre for Europe, Aston University, Birmingham, UK; the International Association for the Study of German Politics; and the BMW Center for German and European Studies, Georgetown University.