Is the summer in the Barents Sea hot this year?
A blog from the northern Barents Sea on a July day in 2021.
Waves marching through the sea ice is an amazing view. It is as if a white, snow-covered landscape suddenly starts gently undulating, the solid ground dancing rhythmically. The waves’ wildness from the open sea is tamed and dampened by the ice. Yet, the waves’ energy can break solid sea ice, greatly affecting sea ice drift, formation and melt. Hence, waves in ice are an important - yet not well understood - factor in the arctic physical environment.
For the first time in my life I am going to experience Phytoplankton blooming in Arctic. The vessel is soon ready to take us on board, and we are currently sitting in isolation at beautiful Sommarøy. My thoughts now are on the journey. How will it be?
The ocean is not as endless as we often think it is. It is actually divided into different domains and regions, ranging from the freezing cold polar waters to the hot tropical regions. Within each of the domains, species have evolved to deal with the challenging conditions within their home domain.
Imagine yourself lying on your back in a forest on a sunny spring day watching upwards to the tree tops. Warm rays of sunlight falling through the canopy warm your face and the song of birds echo in the distance. Now imagine all the tree trunks, branches and twigs are gone and just leaves floating lofty above you.
Far right actors often rely heavily on traditional narratives about gender and family, whilst simultaneously weaponizing women’s rights and gender equality in pursuit of an anti-immigration and anti-Islam political agenda. In a recently published article, Katrine Fangen and Lisanne Lichtenberg explore this tension within the rhetoric of various German far right organizations.
From the last time we collected water, I took a drop to check under a microscope, to get an insight into what is hiding. But no, no universe here. Nothing that swam, floated or hovered. No signs of spring bloom. But then, suddenly, in one corner of this drop I found something. A solitary microalgae, alone in this vast drop universe.
Here on RV “Kronprins Haakon” in the northern Barents Sea we are our own tiny world, living and working together in a bubble almost completely remote from our regular world. In our microcosm we are reminded that we all have to have some place to live, and to also understand how it works, so that the system we live in functions well.
The Dutch parliamentary elections took place last week, after a tumultuous period of anti-lockdown protests, and the fall of the Dutch government in January, over a welfare fraud scandal rife with ethnic profiling. RightNow! Editor Iris Beau Segers interviews Professor Cas Mudde about the most striking outcomes of the election, and what this might mean for the radical right and the state of liberal democracy in the Netherlands.
Hello from another fine day from the largest research vessel in Norway - Kronprins Haakon. After having a delicious pizza lunch on board today, I came up to the 7th deck (yes that’s right, this boat has 10 decks), to write this blog in the conference room – a nice, cozy room with a great view. How is a girl from the south of India where winter is 20 degrees, surviving up here in the Arctic, you ask?
French academia is currently under scrutiny after the Minister of Research and Higher Education validated the theory of a growing “Islamo-leftism” within social science research. Studies on race and gender have become contentious, and met in the public debate with accusations of fostering identity politics. Recently, a group of academics tried to delegitimize the work of Nonna Mayer, a respected scholar in the field of far right politics.
Over the last few weeks, the Dutch radical right has used curfew controversy to portray the government as a danger to the freedom of the average citizen. C-REX scholar Iris Beau Segers asks if the liberal-conservative VVD party might have themselves to blame, and argues that their ‘doctrine of normalcy’ has mainstreamed radical right ideas that now pose a challenge to the government’s covid-19 measures.
On 9 February, R/V Kronprins Haakon departs on a winter process cruise to the Barents Sea to track and measure important processes taking place in the ocean during wintertime. This cruise is led by UNIS professor Frank Nilsen and part of the Nansen Legacy project – Norway’s biggest research project to date.
Taken together, the emerging groups of the Georgian far right obtained less than 5 per cent in the October 2020 elections to the national Parliament. But limited electoral success does not mean that the far-right has limited political power, in Georgia and elsewhere in the world.
As seen on January 6th, 2021, once disparate tendencies within the radical right are mixing and collaborating as never before. The very core technological features of the internet and world wide web have played a crucial role in this process of integration.
Policies to prevent radicalization and violent extremism frequently target militant Islamists, right-wing and left-wing extremists. In a recent study we have examined what distinguishes the ways in which local practitioners perceive and respond to each of the milieus. Our results show that there is a clear discrepancy between the uniform way violent extremism is presented in policy, and how front line practitioners experience the different forms of extremism at the local level.
White women have long been part of white supremacist movements in the U.S. and elsewhere. That continues today. But what place do they occupy in deeply misogynist movements that force white women into idealized categories of white mother, sexual partner, or racial fighter?
Imagine that you have difficulty chewing your food because you have poor chewing and swallowing functions – this is the situation for many elderly and sick people. A personalised fish soup that has a high protein content is a good solution to this problem. It tastes great, is nutritious, requires little chewing and is easy to swallow.
This week the Dutch Forum for Democracy (FvD) experienced yet another scandal, but this time the infighting did not favor Thierry Baudet. And so, four years after founding the party, and less than half a year before the next Dutch parliamentary election, Baudet has resigned as party leader, and withdrawn from the top spot on the electoral list, and we can all refocus our attention on the real leader of the Dutch far right, Geert Wilders.
While the Golden Dawn verdict is a positive step for Greek democracy, it is still important to understand why circa 500,000 Greek citizens voted this criminal organization in the parliament, despite the fact that its violence was well known.
The Supreme Court of Finland issued a ban on the neo-Nazi Nordic Resistance Movement in September of 2020. The historical decision follows a case that has been ongoing for several years and has already seen the Finnish right-wing extremist scene change in different ways.
Suicide attacks are virtually absent in far-right terrorism. A recent study of the subcultural, strategic, and historic references to martyrdom, self-sacrifice, and suicide in the contemporary far right shows the potential reasons for this, highlighting the peculiar political mythology of “martyrdom” that characterizes this extremist environment.
Black Lives Matter has shaken up political discussions about racism across the globe. In the Netherlands, it has led to yet another escalation around the ‘Black Pete’ controversy, Iris Beau Segers argues that the empty rhetoric, inaction and opportunism of (radical) right politicians indicates their continued reluctance to tackle institutional racism at its roots.
While the year 2019 in Western Europe was neither very violent in terms of fatal attacks, nor particularly deadly in terms of fatalities, we witnessed a worrying emerging global trend of right-wing lone-actor terrorists carrying out, or trying to carry out, mass-casualty attacks.
While the EU seems even less inclined to change its restrictive approach to migration during the coronavirus, the pandemic offers a window of opportunity to advance measures that would fit with the EU’s purported stance as a liberal vanguard in the international landscape, argues GLOBUS researcher Michela Ceccorulli.
How does a relatively small far right group, with little electoral support, attract international media attention and influence national politics? A recently published book by C-REX researchers Pietro Castelli Gattinara and Caterina Froio uses the example of CasaPound Italia to illustrate the new and often surprising forms that right-wing extremism is taking across the globe.
The Covid-19 crisis is exploited by Viktor Orbán to consolidate power and undermine democracy. The increasingly authoritarian Prime Minister has used the pandemic to further authoritarian ends. Democratic backsliding in Hungary has for long been a cause of concern for the European Union.
While engagement with stakeholders is an increasingly popular approach to national and international decision-making, the EU needs to exercise greater caution when exporting multistakeholder arrangements to other countries, argues Diana Potjomkina.
Over this past week, the Indian capital of Delhi has been home to violence between Hindus and Muslims with a rising death toll each day. Eviane Leidig shows not only how this is the most recent manifestation of a legacy of right-wing extremist activity in India, but also that the response of global far right actors suggest a more disturbing connection between the extreme right in India and the West.
In the aftermath of the festive month, Dutch PhD candidate Iris Beau Segers looks back on the annually recurring issue of Black Pete in the Netherlands, whose blackfaced appearance has been at the heart of a controversial public debate for almost a decade.
The RTV trend report recently published by C-REX shows that, since the 1990s, severe forms of right-wing terrorism and violence in Western Europe have decreased, particularly gang-related and unorganized forms of violence. Today, so-called ‘lone actors’ carry out most of the violence, a trend that has been reinforced by the emergence of various online platforms.
In times of climate change and retreating sea ice, important research questions are for example: How important are sea ice algae as a food source for organisms such as copepods, krill and fish? Are they affected by the sea ice retreat and if so, how will that affect the functioning of the Arctic ecosystem?
As far right politics is becoming an ever bigger part of mainstream politics, opponents and scholars of the far right have to leave their 20th century thinking behind and critically review their received wisdom. What might have been true in the 1990s, might no longer be true today. Taboos have been broken, preferences have shifted, and the broader political context has become much more accepting to far right politics and politicians.