Current research projects of Dr. Benjamin Höhne


Anti-Feminism in the Rhetoric of Radical Right Female Leaders in Germany and the U.S.: Smart Disguise for a Threat to Democracy?

This comparative research project focuses on the ways female leaders of the radical right in Germany and the U.S. communicate anti-feminism. Its relevance stems from the assumption that this topic, particularly in combination with female protagonists, plays an essential role in mobilizing supporters and winning votes. Questions about the meaning and functions of anti-feminist rhetoric will be raised at several levels: 1. personal (impact on the protagonists themselves), 2. organizational (e.g., bridging party and collateral movements), and 3. societal/electoral (e.g., effects on public discourses and elections). The female politicians selected for the interviews and data analyses are Lauren Boebert and Marjorie Taylor Greene for the radical right-wing of the U.S. Republicans, Alice Weidel and Beatrix von Storch for the Alternative for Germany (AfD). Their respective political communication will be compared and examined for possible similarities that appear to be systematic rather than coincidental. Primary empirical sources are in-depths-interviews with the selected MPs as well as their parliamentary and party congress speeches. Secondary sources include their social media content, several media articles, and conversations with scholars working on the gender dimension of populist radical right parties. The findings on anti-feminism in right-wing parties will hopefully lead to a better understanding of a crucial phenomenon in contemporary politics.

Project manager: Dr. Benjamin Höhne
Period and place: summer term 2022, Washington, D.C.
Funding: DAAD and American Institute for Contemporary German Studies (AICGS) at Johns Hopkins University


Politics and Governance in Berlin

Despite the high number of local universities, non-university research institutions and think tanks, Berlin's state politics has not been receiving excessive attention within political science research. To address this gap in research, Prof. Dr Stephan Bröchler (HWR Berlin) and Dr Benjamin Höhne have accordingly initiated the research project “Politics and Governance in Berlin”.

In addition to the political framework and structural characteristics of the federal capital, the project will deal with political attitudes, actors and elections as well as political fields that are specific for Berlin-state politics. Results of the research project are planned to be summarized in an upcoming volume, published by Springer VS.

An online-held author workshop that will deal with the conception of the volume is planned for April 2022; it will be followed by a face-to-face workshop in 2023. The research results of the project are to be published in the same year. Besides the motive of closing various research gaps, the project aims to provide up-to-date and profound information about the political structures and processes as well as political fields of the State of Berlin for the citizens of Berlin and other interested parties such as media professionals.

Various political scientists have so far confirmed their will to participate in their individual topics:
Prof. Dr. Hartmut Aden (HWR Berlin), Dr. Franziska Carstensen (FernUniversität Hagen), Dr. Noa K. Ha (DeZIM Institute Berlin), Dr. Andrej Holm (Humboldt University of Berlin), Prof. Dr. Felix Hörisch (University of Applied Science Saar), Oliver Kannenberg (IParl), Prof. Dr. Michael Minkenberg (European University Viadrina Frankfurt/Oder), Prof. Dr. Jochen Müller (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin), Prof. Dr. Gert Pickel (University of Leipzig), Prof. Dr. Susanne Pickel (University of Duisburg-Essen), Prof. Dr. Werner Reutter (Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg), Prof. Dr. Samuel Salzborn (Justus-Liebig-University Gießen and Anti-Semitism Commissioner of the State of Berlin), Dr. Henrik Scheller (Deutsches Institut für Urbanistik), Dr. Danny Schindler (IParl), Prof. Dr. Suzanne S. Schüttemeyer (IParl), Dr. Marcel Solar (State office for political education NRW), Dr. Antonius Souris (FU Berlin) and Prof. Dr. Thomas von Winter (University of Potsdam).

For more information, please contact the project managers Benjamin Höhne or Stephan Bröchler.