Karlsruhe Dialogues 2009

Right-Wing Extremism in Europe today

Britta Schellenberg M.A.



Britta Schellenberg M.A.was born in 1972. She did German, English and Jewish studies in Heidelberg, London and Berlin and is scientific assistant at the Center for Applied Policy Research (C•A•P) at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University (LMU) in Munich since 2002. In addition, she is doing her Ph.D. in history at the Center for Research on anti-Semitism at the Technische Universität Berlin. Before, Schellenberg has worked as research assistant in New York and as election observer in Bosnia and has taught German for foreigners and commercial German.

Her main fields of interest are right-wing extremism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism, holocaust research, migration, integration and education as well as democratic and human rights education. From 2002 to 2005 she participated in the project “Strategien gegen Rechtsextremismus” (Strategies against Right-Wing Extremism) at the LMU, where she also was a lecturer.

In 2006 she contributed herself to the project “Aktiv eintreten gegen Fremdenfeindlichkeit“ (active against xenophobia), which was carried out by the Research Group Youth and Europe. Today, she belongs to various working groups at C•A•P. Amongst others, she took part in the conception of educational programmes about right-wing extremism and democracy and is in charge of educational programmes for journalists all over Germany.

In her opinion, there must be more continuity in journalistic reporting about right-wing extremism. In 2008 she published an article about the handling with right-wing extremism in the media (in: Stock, L./Tausch, C./Vor, R.: “Die Welt zu Gast bei wem? Rechtsextremismus, Fremdenfeindlichkeit und Migration in Sachsen, Deutschland und Europa”).

Since 2007 she is responsible for and coordinates a project about strategies against right-wing extremism in Europe. The first results are described in a C•A•P-analyses Schellenberg presented in 2008. According to that, a law which turns not only against right-wing actors and activities, but also against the ideologies of right-wing extremism is missing widely in Germany. In addition to the realisation of preventive actions, the work against the right-wing extremist “grey area” is important.

ZAK asked Britta Schellenberg M.A. to answer the following question:

What can citizens do Against Right-Wing Extremism? 

"Everyone can make a point against right-wing extremism: expose and oppose xenophobia (e. g. in the form of anti-Semitism or hostility against Islam): in their families, in their circle of friends, or in the public sphere. Organise or take part in creative protest. And now that it’s 2009 and “super election year” in Germany: go to the polls so that radical right-wing parties do not gain ground in Germany or Europe. "