100 years of “resistance”? Continuity and change in right-wing populist and far-right communication

About the project

The project examines the change and continuity of right-wing populist and right-wing extremist self-articulation and enemy image construction from a communication science perspective. This involves a comparative analysis of communications from the 1920s and the early 2020s in terms of their content patterns and communication strategies.


An initial focus of the project is provided by analyzing right-(sextremist) (media) narratives and iconographies along the symbolic and historically charged communicative figure of "resistance". The analysis focuses on communicative strategies directed both internally and externally for a) ideological identity work, b) mobilization and c) the dissemination and normalization of (dis-)information. The second focal point is Bavaria, in particular Munich as the historical nucleus of National Socialism. It examines how actors from the right-wing populist and far-right spectrum in Germany  past and present  articulate themselves and to what extent references to Munich, Bavaria or history play a role in spreading their interpretations of the world or making them appear legitimate. Thirdly, mainstreaming, i.e. the normalization and implementation of right-wing extremist interpretations of social reality in the broader social discourse (including the associated figures of speech, images and argumentative patterns) is examined as a key goal of right-wing extremist propaganda. Empirically, historical-hermeneutic document and media analyses are carried out for the 1920s, and qualitative content analyses of social media communication (especially on Telegram) and referenced media for the 2020s. The comparison between the time periods is based on discourse analysis.
Through its diachronic comparative perspective, the project makes it possible for the first time to identify developments, changes and recurring elements in the communication of right-wing extremist actors around the figure of "resistance".
The project is part of the Bavarian research network   . Scientists from eleven Bavarian universities, higher education institutions and non-university research institutions are working together in this network to shed light on right-wing extremism in Bavaria in all its facets. The network is funded by the Bavarian State Ministry of Science and the Arts. In addition to the University of Augsburg, the Ludwig Maximilians University, the Universities of Regensburg and Passau, the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich, the Munich School of Public Policy, the Munich Institute of Contemporary History, the Munich University of Applied Sciences and the Nuremberg Institute of Technology are participating in the network under the coordination of the OTH Regensburg. The JFF (Institute for Media Education in Research and Practice) in Munich is an associate member.
Principal Investigators: Susanne Kinnebrock & Christian Schwarzenegger
Project Manager: Hanna-Sophie Ruess
Project Duration: 20242027





Rueß, H., Kinnebrock, S., & Schwarzenegger, C. (2024). Women between power and powerlessness. Gender and power performances as an analytical frame to research defensive publics such as the far-right. (Accepted) presentation at the ICA 2024 postconference "P³: Power, Propaganda, Polarisation" from the 26th until 27th of june in Brisbane, Australia. 




Rueß, H., Schwarzenegger, C., & Kinnebrock, S. (2023). #reinweiblich - The Far-Right’s Binary and Trans-exclusive Construction of Femininity through Hashtags. Presentation at the joint annual conference "(Non-)binarity in Binary Structures" of the DGPuK divisions "Digital Communication" and "Media, Public Spheres, and Gender" from the 8th until the 10th of November in Vienna, Austria.


Rueß, H., Schwarzenegger, C., & Kinnebrock, S. (2023). Weaponizing Collective Trauma - Iconography and Narratives of Far-right Conspiracy Myths in Interwar Germany. Presentation at the ECREA  Communication History Section Conference “War, Communication, and Media Resilience in Europe” from the 23rd until the 25th of August 2023 in Lund/Sweden.


Rueß, H., Schwarzenegger, C., & Kinnebrock, S. (2023). A kaleidoscope of lies – Partisan realities and adaptable conspiracy myths in the 1920s German Nationalist Press. Presentation at the annual IAMCR Conference from the 09th until the 13th of July 2023 in Lyon/France.


Rueß, H., Wagner, A., Johann, M. & Schwarzenegger, C. (2023). Deformed, Devalued and Distorted: Transfigurations of Memory in Far-Right Commemorative Populism. Presentation at the Workshop “Far-right Memory in Digital Age” at the University of Leipzig from the 8th until the 10th of June in Leipzig. 


Rueß, H., & Kinnebrock, S. (2023). Zwischen Frauenbewegung und Nationalismus: Die Zeitschrift „Frau und Nation“ (1924-1925) als Alternativmedium und doppelte Gegenöffentlichkeit. Presentation on the annual DGPuK Section Conference for Communication History "Von Emanzipation zu Desinformation? Gegenöffentlichkeiten und ihre Bewertung im Wandel" on the 31st of March in 2023 in Leipzig.



Schwarzenegger, C., Rueß, H., & Kinnebrock, S. (2022). Propaganda and Phantasmagorias of “Resistance” in Right-Wing Counter-Publics. A Diachronic Comparison of the 1920s and 2020s. Presentation on the ECREA-precon of the Communication History Division, 07th October 2022 (online).



Public Communication
Ass. Prinicpal Investigator of the Research Project "100 years of 'resistance'"
Public Communication
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Researcher and PhD candidate
Public Communication