Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
German Angst – Fear and Democracy in the Federal Republic of Germany - Oxford Scholarship Online
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

German Angst: Fear and Democracy in the Federal Republic of Germany

Frank Biess


German Angst analyzes the relationship of fear and democracy in postwar West Germany. While fear has historically been associated with authoritarian regimes, the book highlights the role of fear and anxiety in a democratizing society: these emotions undermined democracy and stabilized it at the same time. By taking seriously postwar Germans’ uncertainties about the future, the book challenges dominant linear and teleological narratives of postwar West German “success.” It highlights the prospective function of memories of war and defeat, of National Socialism and the Holocaust. Fears and anxie ... More

Keywords: democracy, fear, emotions, memory, postwar Germany, Second World War, history, emotional regimes, Cold War, populism

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2020 Print ISBN-13: 9780198714187
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2020 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198714187.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Frank Biess, author
Professor of History, University of California, San Diego