Extremists, such as far-right nationalists, ISIS, and QAnon conspiracy theorists, are often considered to hold irrational beliefs. By drawing on recent, but underexplored ideas from academic philosophy, Finlay Malcolm will identify three ways by which extremist beliefs might be irrational and suggests how some of these ideas might be useful for research and policy on deradicalisation.
It’s a male, male world: rise and fall of ‘the Male State,’ a far-right misogynistic organization in Russia
The Russian far-right activist Vladislav Pozdnyakov is largely seen as a marginal character by far-right scholars. However, Elizaveta Gaufman argues that Pozdnyakov and his now banned organization “the Male State” need to be examined more closely as they represent yet another example of a global misogyny trend on par with the incel movement.
Liberal democracy is not dead
Liberal democracy is under pressure, and illiberalism remains a threat across the globe. Cas Mudde argues that key events in 2021 should be a wake-up call to those who think illiberalism is the inevitable future, and emphasizes the crucial need for consistent, genuine, and inspiring liberal democratic politics.
The Polish Independence March 2021 – nationalized nationalism
The Independence March passed through Warsaw once again. This time, no flat was burnt, no shops were vandalized, no squat or embassy attacked, and no freshly planted trees were torn out. According to Przemyslaw Witkowski, this is a worrying development, as it signals that nationalists are gaining political power in Poland and beyond.
Political myths and the making of fascism
In a recently published book, Nathaniël Kunkeler compares the political cultures of the Swedish National Socialist Workers’ Party (Nationalsocialistiska Arbetarepartiet, NSAP) and the Dutch National Socialist Movement (Nationaal-Socialistische Beweging, NSB). Central to the analysis is the construction of political myths: myth-making or mythopoeia of the largest fascist parties in these countries, neither of which ever came close to seizing power in the 1930s.
Transformation of the Far Right: What can protest event analysis tell us?
The far right today is a global and diverse phenomenon, that encompasses a wide range of different actors and organizations. Tamta Gelashvili argues that scholarship on the far right would benefit from the use of Protest Event Analysis (PEA) to analyze and compare far-right mobilization across cultural contexts and over time.
From grassroots to government: far-right threats to academic freedom
In recent years, and particularly since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, far right forces have increased efforts to systematically undermine the principles of academic freedom. Léonie de Jonge, Iris Beau Segers and Cathrine Thorleifsson highlight the urgency of defending academic freedom against governmental interference and protecting researchers from threats and intimidation.
Lega East? A close look at AfD’s electoral strength in eastern Germany
The electoral showing of Alternative für Deutschland (AfD, Alternative for Germany) at past Sunday’s general election in Germany highlights once again that it is essential to scrutinize the party’s strength in eastern Germany, writes C-REX Postdoctoral Fellow Manès Weisskircher.
An effective ban on foreign fighting? Wider implications of the Czech policy towards foreign (terrorist) fighters
“Foreign terrorist fighters” (FTFs) are commonly understood as being synonymous with jihadists. But what if we were to be faced with a foreign terrorist fighter, who is not a jihadi and is hardly ideologically motivated at all? C-REX Postdoctoral Fellow Kacper Rekawek discusses the recent conviction of three Czech foreign fighters involved in the conflict in Ukraine, who fall into that category. Their cases differ substantially from their jihadi counterparts and offer a fascinating insight into how different Western states approach the issue of their citizens or inhabitants deploying to foreign wars.
Stable trends in unstable times: Right-wing terrorism and violence in Western Europe in 2020
Right-wing terrorism and violence in Western Europe in 2020 was not significantly influenced by COVID-19 nor by the activism of the Black Lives Matter movement. Instead, the RTV report recently published by C-REX shows that 2020 represents a continuation of previous trends.
On the ideological and cultural diversity of current antisemitism
In May this year, the latest round of hostilities in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict set in motion a wave of antisemitic attacks targeting Jews in Europe and the US. A closer look at these incidents demonstrates the ideological and cultural diversity of current Jew-hatred. In order to understand this diversity, a broader historical perspective is helpful.
Kinder, Kirche and Küche - Gender and family rhetoric of the German far right
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.
The Dutch election: Far right side characters in the ‘Mark Rutte show’
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.
Growing concern inside French academia due to controversy about “Islamo-leftism”
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.
‘The new normal’? Radical right resistance to the Dutch curfew
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.
The Georgian far right failed its electoral debut. But its season may not be over
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.
The Storm and the Web: Communication Technology and the Ecumenical Far Right
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.
Violent extremism is not a uniform phenomenon: The key differences in prevention of left-wing, right-wing, and Islamist extremism
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.
Do White Supremacist Women Adopt Movement Archetypes of Mother, Whore, and Fighter?
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?
What is Happening to the Dutch Far Right? From Wilders to Baudet… and Back To Wilders Again
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.
Golden Dawn guilty verdict is a victory for Greek democracy. But will it solve the country’s deep political divides?
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 case against the Nordic Resistance Movement in Finland: an overview and some explanations
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.
Dying for the Cause? Not really. The Far-Right has its own take on “martyrdom”.
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.
Why Black Pete matters: Institutional racism and police violence in the Netherlands
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.
How Right-Wing Violence in Western Europe Changed in 2019
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.
CasaPound Italia: Contemporary Extreme Right Politics
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.
Quarantining Hungarian Democracy
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.
What is going on in Delhi and how is this connected to right-wing extremism?
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.
Blackface in the name of tradition: the controversy around the Dutch ‘Sinterklaas’ festivities
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.
Development of right-wing violence in Western Europe
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.
Far Right Politics Has Changed. So Should We!
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.