Spokesperson Council

Prof. Dr. Frank Asbrock

Professorship in Social Psychology, TU Chemnitz

Zentrum für kriminologische Forschung Sachen (ZKFS)

holds the professorship for Social Psychology at TU Chemnitz since September 2019 and is director of the Center for Criminological Research Saxony (Zentrum für kriminologische Forschung Sachsen, ZKFS) in Chemnitz since 2021. He studied Psychology in Bielefeld and received his doctoral degree there. In his research, he focuses on conflicts between groups, especially with the connections between categorial perception and discrimination. Further, he studies the perception of risk and security and their connections to ideological attitudes.

Selected Publications
(2023) with C. Pollmanns: Reclaim the streets: The link between positive and negative direct intergroup contact and movement support against immigration via threat perceptions. Journal of Applied SocialPsychology,1–15.
(2020) with M. Albrecht: „Die trägt ja als Deutsche ein Kopftuch“ – Der Einfluss autoritärer Einstellungen auf die Wahrnehmung der Verletzung kultureller Normen. Zeitschrift für Religion Gesellschaft und Politik, 4(1), 105-126.
(2021) with J. Schulze Wessel, C. Neubauer, S. Rindermann, N. Zill, B. Haj Bakri, N. Haji Darwish & T. Heyne: Machtvolle Gestalterinnen: Syrische Frauen über Demokratie in Familie, Gesellschaft und Staat. In S. Kailitz, G. Pickel, & T. Genswein (Eds.), Sachsen zwischen Integration und Desintegration: Politisch-kulturelle Heimaten (pp. 55–77). Springer Fachmedien.

Prof. Dr. Anja Besand

Chair of Didactics of Civic Education and Director of the John Dewey Research Center for the Didactics of Democracy at TUD Dresden University of Technology

holds the Chair for Didactics of Civic Education at TU Dresden since April 2009 and, since October 2020, is director of the John Dewey Research Center for Didactics of Democracy. Anja Besand studied Political Science, Art Education and Didactics of Social Science at Justus Liebig University Gießen and received her PhD in 2004. From 2004 to 2006, she was Junior Professor for Political Science with a focus on Civic Education at the Ludwigsburg University of Education. Her research is located between the poles of the social and educational sciences and is fundamentally oriented towards the question of how humans develop their understanding of how they want to live together, and how they may be assisted in this. In recent years, Anja Besand has increasingly researched the question of how educational institutions react to hate speech and right-wing extremism and which support is needed in this regard. Besides this, Anja Besand always keeps an eye on political discourse in popular forums such as TV shows and social media.

Selected Publications

(2022 Von Zielgruppen zu Formaten und Räumen. Oder: Warum wir in der politischen Bildung nicht so sehr auf Zielgruppen fixiert sein sollten. Außerschulische Bildung. Zeitschrift der politischen Jugend- und Erwachsenenbildung 3/2022, pp. 12-18.
(2021) with Rico Behrens and Stefan Breuer: Politische Bildung in reaktionären Zeiten – Plädoyer für eine standhafte Schule. Frankfurt: Wochenschau Verlag.
(2020) The crisis as an opportunity to learn. Or: ‘Collateral civic education’ in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. JSSE 4/2020.

Dr.-Ing. Noa K. Ha

Deutsches Zentrum für Integrations- und Migrationsforschung (DeZIM), Berlin

has been junior research group leader at the Center for Integration Studies at the TU Dresden since January 2018. After an apprenticeship as a landscape gardener, she studied landscape planning at the TU Berlin and earned her doctorate in architecture. The central topic of her research is the connection between urban reproduction, social coexistence and racism or (post)colonialism. Her work focuses on postcolonial urban research, migrant-diasporic memory politics, critical integration research and racism critique, post- and decolonial theory and practice.

Selected Publications
(2019) with Fallon Tiffany Cabral , Kerti Puni-Specht, Tran Thu Trang: „Kulturproduktion und Selbstorganisierung im Spannungsfeld von Exotisierung und Rassismuskritik: Asiatische Deutsche im Blick“, in Best Practice!? Theoretische Reflexionen, didaktisch-methodische Konzepte und Erfahrungen zu rassismuskritischer Bildungsarbeit. Fereidooni, Karim und Stefan Hößl (eds.). Schwalbach/Ts: Wochenschau-Verlag.
(2017) „Zur Kolonialität des Städtischen“, in Decolonize the City! Zur Kolonialität der Stadt – Gespräche | Aushandlungen | Perspektiven. Zwischenraum Kollektiv (eds.). Münster: UNRAST-Verlag.

PD Dr. Steffen Kailitz

Hannah Arendt Institute for the Research on Totalitarianism, Dresden

focuses on right-wing extremism, xenophobia, and political culture in Germany and has written extensively on these issues. He cofounded the Working Group for Comparative Dictatorship and Extremism Research at the German Political Science Association (DVPW) and was its spokesman between 2003 and 2012. Kailitz was also one of the four expert witnesses appointed by the Federal Constitutional Court in the NPD ban proceedings 2013–2017.

Selected Publications
(2019) Im Namen des Volkes. Warum AfD-Spitzenpolitiker wie die Nationalsozialisten reden – und was Demokraten dagegen unternehmen können, in: Spiegel from 21.12.2019
Sachsen – eine Hochburg des Rechtsextremismus? (ed. with Uwe Backes) Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht.

Prof. Dr. Marianne Kneuer

Chair of Political Systems and Comparative Politics, TUD Dresden University of Technology

holds the Chair of Comparative Politics at TU Dresden since October 2021. Prior to that, she was Professor of Comparative Politics/International Relations at the University of Hildesheim from 2011-2021. From 2018-2021, Kneuer served as President of the International Political Science Association (IPSA). Her research explores transitions to and from authoritarianism, democratic erosion and digital authoritarianism. She also focuses on transnational influences such as the diffusion and promotion of authoritarian procedures, values and practices.

Selected Publications

(2023) with W. Lance Bennett: Communication and Democratic Erosion: The Rise of Illiberal Public Spheres. European Journal of Communication, online first.
(2021) Unravelling democratic erosion: Who drives the slow death of democracy, and how? Democratization 28(8), pp. 1442-1462.
(2020) ed. with Thomas Demmelhuber: Authoritarian Gravity Centres: A cross-regional study of authoritarian promotion and diffusion. London/New York: Routledge.

Prof. Dr. Gert Pickel

Faculty of Theology, Leipzig University

is an attitudinal researcher and renowned in the areas of political culture research and sociology of religion. He has published about anti-Muslim racism, antifeminism and anti-Semitism. Documented by relevant textbooks, Prof. Pickel has far-reaching expertise in empirical attitudinal research and the methods of social research in political science. Currently, he is a board member of the Competence Center for Research on Right-wing Extremism and Democracy (Kompetenzzentrum für Rechtsextremismus- und Demokratieforschung), located at Leipzig University, Deputy Spokesman of the Leipzig site of the Research Institute for Social Cohesion (Forschungsinstitut Gesellschaftlicher Zusammenhalt), Deputy Head of the Right-Wing Studies Knowledge Network (WI-Rex), as well as the BMI collaborative study “Institutions and Racism” (Institutionen und Rassismus, InRa).

Selected Publications

(2023) mit Susanne Pickel: Die Bürger in der Demokratie. München: Kohlhammer.
(2023) hrsg. mit Susanne Pickel, Oliver Decker, Immo Fritsche, Michael Kiefer, Frank Lütze, Riem Spielhaus, Haci-Halil Uslucan: Gesellschaftliche Ausgangsbedingungen für Radikalisierung und Co-Radikalisierung. Wiesbaden: Springer VS.
(2022) mit Susanne Pickel: The Wall in the Mind – Revisited Stable Differences in the Political Cultures of Western and Eastern Germany. German Politics 32(1), 20-42, DOI: 10.1080/09644008.2022.2072488.

Prof. Dr. Antje Röder

Professorship in Methods of Empirical Social Research, Marburg University

researches on integration of migrants and minorities in European societies, with particular interest in the interplay of individual factors on the one hand and group- and country-specific contexts on the other. She has published extensively on socio-cultural integration of migrants, specifically on attitudes regarding gender roles and homosexuality and the effects of discrimination. International comparisons based on secondary data sets and data collection among mobile and hard-to-reach populations are at the center of her research.

Selected Publications

(2022) Röder, A. and Spierings, N.: What shapes attitudes toward homosexuality among European Muslims? The role of religiosity and destination hostility’, International Migration Review 56(2), 533-561.
(2018) Röder, A., Kailitz, S., Genswein, T., Rindermann, S., Schulze Wessel, J., Pickel, G., Decker, O., und Hohenberger, L.: „Methodische Herausforderungen quantitativer Befragungen von Geflüchteten am Beispiel einer Vorstudie in Sachsen“, Z’Flucht: Zeitschrift für Flucht- und Flüchtlingsforschung 2(2), 313-329.

Further Members

Prof. Dr. Uwe Backes

deputy director at Hannah Arendt Institute for the Research on Totalitarianism, Dresden // apl. Prof. at the Institute for Political Science, TU Dresden

researches on extremism and politically motivated violence in Germany and Europe from a comparative perspective. Recently, he has conducted a research project on right-wing motivated multiple offenders in Saxony. He is the co-editor of the Yearbook Extremism and Democracy and the same-titled publication series at Nomos, Baden-Baden.

Selected Publications

(2014) Rechts motivierte Mehrfach- und Intensivtäter in Sachsen. Göttingen: V&R unipress (with A. Haase/M. Logvinov/M. Mletzko/J. Stoye).
(2012) The Extreme Right in Europe. Current Trends and Perspectives. Göttingen: V&R unipress (with P. Moreau).

PD Dr. Oliver Decker

Center for the Study of Right-Wing Extremism and Democracy, Leipzig University

researches on the effects of social crises and transformations on society members using qualitative and quantitative methods of empirical social research. One of his focus areas are “Mitte” surveys – carried out at Leipzig University since 2002 – which explore political attitudes in Germany. He is the spokesman of the Center for the Study of Right-Wing Extremism and Democracy (KReDo).

Selected Publications

(2016) Comparative Perspectives on Right-Wing Extremism in Europe. New York: Routledge (with J. Kiess/E. Brähler, eds).
(2016) Extremismus in Sachsen. Ansätze. Befunde. Beispiele. Leipzig: Seemann Henschel (with G. Pickel).

Prof. Dr. Immo Fritsche

Department of Psychology, Leipzig University

is Professor of Social Psychology (Leipzig University) and member of the Center for the Study of Right-Wing Extremism and Democracy (KReDo). He researches and teaches on processes in and between groups (e.g. conflicts, collective thinking and action), motivated social cognition (e.g. effects of threats, need for control and action ability) as well as social psychology of ecological crisis. His research is quantitative and experimental.

Selected Publications

(2016) Comparative Perspectives on Right-Wing Extremism in Europe. New York: Routledge (with J. Kiess/E. Brähler, eds).
(2016) Extremismus in Sachsen. Ansätze. Befunde. Beispiele. Leipzig: Seemann Henschel (with G. Pickel).

Prof. Dr. Alexander Gallus

Professorship Political Theory and the History of Ideas, TU Chemnitz

is a political scientist and historian working in the field of contemporary history and researching primarily on the questions of political thinking and intellectuals in the 20th century. He is deeply interested in the perception of cesura and intellectual processing of personal turning points in the repeatedly exploding realms of experience during “The Age of Extremes” (Eric Hobsbawm). Prof. Gallus has also dealt with outlier and the third way positions as well as challenges of exile and transnational linkages. His publication “Meinhof, Mahler, Ensslin. Die Akten der Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes” has received wide public attention.

Selected Publications

(2023) ed. with Ernst Piper: Die Weimarer Republik als Ort der Demokratiegeschichte. Eine kritische Bestandsaufnahme, Bonn: Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung.
(2022) Intellektuelle in ihrer Zeit. Geistesarbeiter und Geistesgeschichte im 20. Jahrhundert, Hamburg: Europäische Verlagsanstalt.
(2021) Revolutionäre Aufbrüche und intellektuelle Sehnsüchte. Zwischen Weimarer Republik und Bundesrepublik, Hamburg: Europäische Verlagsanstalt.

Dr. Piotr Kocyba

Else Frenkel-Brunswik Institute (EFBI), Leipzig University

deals with questions of political culture and democracy quality in East Central Europe, primarily with the populist challenge for representative democracy of the western type. Since the begin of Pegida demonstrations, Kocyba researches on right-wing protest movements and scientific approaches to racist dispositions in society. He has been the board member of the Institute for Protest and Social Movement Research since 2006 and is the co-author of the institute’s study “Protestforschung am Limit”.

Selected Publications

(2022) With Magdalena Muszel and Corinna Trogisch: Empathy and Mutuality in Qualitative Research. Reflections from Three Different Research Fields. In: Ethnologia Polona Ethnologia Polona, Vol. 43, S. 21-41.
(2022) With Sebastian Sommer: On (missing) critical distance and (involuntary) alliances: A warning about the reproduction of far-right ideologies in academic papers. In: Intersections. East European Journal of Society and Politics, 4, 9, S. 208-212.
(2021) With Aletta Diefenbach, Philipp Knopp, and Sebastian Sommer: Rechte Proteste erforschen. Erfahrungen und Reflexionen aus der qualitativen und quantitativen Forschung. Berlin: ipb workingpapers.

Prof. Dr. Tom Mannewitz

Professorship for political extremism and political history of thought, Federal University of Applied Administrative Sciences (ZNAF) Berlin

focuses in his – primarily comparative – research on political extremism and democracy, political culture in Germany, as well as the methods of political science (including macro-qualitative methods, concept and indicator research). In 2014, he was habilitated with a work on the reconceptualisation and regionalisation of political culture in Germany and, after holding the Junior Professorship in Research Methods of Political Science at TU Chemnitz for six years, he is now Professor for Political Extremism and Political History of Thought at the Federal University of Applied Administrative Sciences (Centre for Basic and Advanced Training in the Intelligence Services) in Berlin.

Selected Publications

(2020) with Tom Thieme: Gegen das System. Linker Extremismus in Deutschland, Bonn: bpb.
(2018) with Herman Ruch/Tom Thieme/Thorsten Winkelmann: Was ist politischer Extremismus? Grundlagen, Erscheinungsformen, Interventionsansätze, Frankfurt am Main: Wochenschau Verlag.

Prof. Dr. Tom Thieme

Professorship social policy education, College of the Saxonian Police (FH)

is since 2017 professor for social policy education at the College of the Saxonian Police (FH). He studied political science, sociology and geography at Technical University Chemnitz, did a doctorate in 2007 about extreme political parties in Eastern Europe, qualified as a university lecturer in 2013 by a comparative work on system changes in 1989/90. His reseach focus lies in the area of democracy, dictatorship and extremism.

Selected Publications

(2022) Rechts- und Linksextremismus in den deutschen Bundesländern, Baden-Baden: Nomos (with Reinhold Melcher)
(2018) Was ist politischer Extremismus? Grundlagen, Erscheinungsformen, Interventionsansätze, Frankfurt a. M. : Wochenschau-Verlag (with Tom Mannewitz, Hermann Ruch and Thorsten Winkelmann)

Dr. phil. Alexander Yendell

Department of Medical Psychology and Medical Sociology, Leipzig University

is a research associate in the Department of Medical Psychology and Medical Sociology (Leipzig University) and member of the Center for the Study of Right-Wing Extremism and Democracy (KReDo). Since 2009, he has been researching on religious pluralism, with special attention to attitudes towards Islam and Muslims. His reseach focus lies in the area of public attitudes towards migration, particularly towards migrants, refugees, asylum seekers, and religious minorities.

Selected Publications

(2016) ‘Islam als Bedrohung? Beschreibung und Erklärung von Einstellungen zum Islam im Ländervergleich’, Zeitschrift für Vergleichende Politikwissenschaft, 1-37 (with G. Pickel).
(2016) Wer unterstützt PEGIDA und was erklärt die Zustimmung zu den Zielen der Bewegung? In: O. Decker/J. Kiess/E. Brähler (eds.): Die enthemmte Mitte: rechtsextreme und autoritäre Einstellung 2016. Gießen: Psychosozial-Verlag, 137-152 (with O.Decker/E.Brähler).