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This section includes book reviews of 600-900 words, as well as some book notes of 100- 200 words, on books of particular interest to the members of our group. If members either have a review that they consider of interest to the Standing Group, or a recent book of their own, which they would like to see reviewed in the newsletter, please contact Cas Mudde at: c.mudde@ed.ac.uk. Book Notes Wolfgang Benz (ed.), Auf dem Weg zum Bßrgerkrieg? Rechtsextremismus und Gewalt gegen Fremde in Deutschland, Frankfurt am Main: Fischer Verlag, 2001, 223 pp., EUR 9,90, ISBN 3-59615218-6 (pbk). Reviewed by Andreas Klump (Federal Ministry of the Interior, Berlin) (The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Federal Ministry of the Interior or the German Government) Germany on the way to civil war? In this collection of eleven articles, editor Wolfgang Benz (Head of the Berlin Centre for Anti-Semitism-Research) tries to answer this question and has assembled a number of experts in the field of right-wing extremism and anti-Semitism. The essays are of varying depth and length and constitute a more or less incomplete mosaic rather than a complete picture of right-wing extremism in Germany. Theoretically not very well-grounded, most of the articles are descriptive without expressive analysis. For example, Wolfgang Benz argues that the development and tendency of right-wing extremism in Germany represents a "culture-clash" within the society, which marks the beginning of a possible civil war. Unfortunately, neither theoretic reflection nor profound empirical data is provided to substantiate this claim. All in all, this volume is an informative and convenient first reading for anyone interested in the subject and can serve as an (incomplete) overview on a descriptive level (especially the Werner Bergmann's article concerning the results of surveys, which is the best in the collection). But the enervations are obvious: the term "civil-war" seems very exaggerated and distorts the real situation. True, most of the facts are correct, but the interpretation of those facts should be different and include analysis based on the extremismtheoretical level. Undoubtedly, right wing extremism is a threat and a challenge for "open societies" (Karl Popper) – as are all totalitarian ideologies.

2002 03 02 book reviews  
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