by Penny Bochum


Politics, Current Affairs
Publication Date: April 2020
RRP: £7.99
90 pp


‘Penny Bochum offers a timely analysis of the rise and radicalisation of the AfD. As ‘never again’ comes dangerously close to ‘once again’, many Europeans have yet to avail themselves fully of the threat the new far right poses to our democratic politics. The book shines a light on this danger. It is an important contribution to efforts to protect European societies from these new authoritarians.’ – Dr. Luke Cooper, Consultant Researcher at London School of Economics Conflict and Civil Society Research Unit Research Unit

‘This extremely insightful work not only expertly charts the rise of the AfD in Germany, but puts forward a convincing prospectus to deal with the populist challenge in advanced democracies. ‘We Are the People’ argues that established parties must become more effective at speaking to voters, bridging social divides, while combating declining faith in government and political institutions. The book is a must-read.’ – Dr. Patrick Diamond, Associate Professor of Public Policy, Queen Mary, University of London and Chair of Policy Network. 

A populist wave has swept across western countries in recent years, exposing the vulnerabilities of liberal democracy and driving the political agenda to the right. Germany is no exception. In 2017, the far-right populist party the Alternative for Germany (AfD) became the third-largest party in the Bundestag, positioning itself against the ‘corrupt liberal elite’ as the voice of the people.

‘We Are the People’ examines the sudden growth and radicalisation of the AfD, from its eurosceptic beginnings in 2013 to its increasing extremism. Bochum discusses the distinct character of populism in Germany and argues that the AfD offers no real alternative. Worldwide political and economic insecurity makes it impossible to write the AfD off as a blip. Imploring us to learn from the German and UK experiences of populism, Bochum warns against the adoption of the populist agenda by mainstream political parties.

Author Bio

Penny Bochum is a political researcher and writer working in Berlin and London. She has worked for Labour MPs and the SPD Bundestagsfraktion, and she has contributed to a range of publications including Can Labour Win? The Hard Road to Power.