Securitising the Threat from Within?
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How did Germany securitise neo-Nazism over the past decades? The major threat of neo- Nazism has haunted Germany for a long time and several scholars have criticised the German approach to combat neo-Nazism by referring to Germany’s “blind eye” toward neo-Nazism and even suppose that Germany is underestimating its impact. However, an extensive identification of the security threat perceptions, preventative measures, and key actors to understand the German approach toward neo-Nazism is lacking up to this point. Based on an extensive analysis of the annual reports by the German domestic intelligence agency, the Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz (BfV), and a comparison of two neo-Nazi attacks before and after the German reunification, this thesis will try to fill this gap. Specifically, the ideas and narratives of the BfV were analysed by applying Securitisation Theory to identify how the BfV perceived and reacted to neo-Nazism from 1990 till 2020. Further evidence was found by comparing the Munich Octoberfest bombing in 1980 and the Halle attack in 2019. While the annual reports revealed that the BfV did securitise and acted upon the neo-Nazi threat throughout the years and indicated a more optimistic view compared to previous research, the case study comparison slightly nuanced this impression as the Octoberfest bombing of 1980 was somewhat less securitised with fewer preventatives measures compared to the Halle attack of 2019. Through these analyses, this thesis adds a key understanding of Germany's security thinking and preventative approach toward neo-Nazism to grasp how Germany acts upon and perceives the threat today.