Factors of Politically Motivated Violence in the Urban Context

Wednesday, 18 July 2018: 11:15
Oral Presentation
Alexander YENDELL, Leipzig University, Germany
Julia SCHULER, Leipzig University, Germany
Leipzig is a city in the East of Germany which has a long history of political conflicts. Recently Leipzig received a lot of media attention because of violent conflicts involving the far left scene in a district called Connewitz. In 2015 and 2016 street fights during demonstrations against right-wing extremists, attacks on a police station and damage to state buildings such as the Federal Administrative Court, as well as counter attacks of right-wing extremists significantly disrupted the city of Leipzig. The far left scene in Leipzig also made headlines in the contexts of the violent riots during the G20 Summit in Hamburg 2017. During the debate on the Hamburg riots, political violence was discussed as a result of left-wing hotspots/ districts within the city of Leipzig.

Theories to explain politically motivated violence can be found within sociology, social psychology and many other disciplines related to criminology. Some of them on the micro-level were tested in a quantitative and multiparadigmatic study conducted at Leipzig University with the title „Youth Study Leipzig 2017“ (n=1508). On the basis of the survey data the paper discusses the following questions: To what extent do young people in the city of Leipzig support politically motivated violence against the left, the right and minorities such as foreigners or Muslims? Do factors such as specific forms of socialization, education, objective and subjective social and political deprivation as well as individual indicators of personality (authoritarianism, narcissism etc.) have an impact on different kinds of political motivated violence? How great is the explanatory power of those theories, and what might a multivariate model to explain politically motivated violence look like?