Pathways: A Journal of Humanistic and Social Inquiry


This manuscript demonstrates how the use of securitization by the German political party the Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) has gained them votes in the German federal elections. The securitization focused on the refugee crisis and the effects that the refugees would have on Germany and its citizens. While mainstream German political parties adopted a neutral stance towards the crisis, the AfD separated themselves by adopting a strong anti-immigrant stance. The concept of securitization has not been fully applied to the German political parties. As a proxy for the political party, the paper analyzes the policy platforms and statements regarding immigration, designed to gain popularity and votes. In order to do this, the paper first defines securitization and then analyzes a variety of sources, including the political parties’ manifestos, in order to show how they have developed and changed their political agendas and beliefs between the years of 2013-2019. This paper compares voting polls and statistics to examine how the party’s use of securitization has garnered them popularity and votes and to find which groups tend to vote for them. The research showed that the party’s shift to securitizing the refugee crisis resulted in the increase of votes in the German federal elections. The AfD placed a sizable focus on their campaign towards immigration after the beginning of the crisis in 2015. For the AfD whose whole campaign focused on immigration, it saw a huge boost of votes during the 2017 German Federal election, managing to reach third place in the number of votes it received.