Trouble on the­ Far-Right – European challenge, national actors, local practices

Europe is in trouble. Far right politics is spreading all over the place and its actors and discourses become increasingly influential at various levels: Parties from the far right achieved successes in French, Austrian and Slovakian elections. Far right movement organizations in Germany and Italy mobilized thousands of people to the streets. In Sweden and Great Britain, vigilante and terrorist groups wage armed struggle. And last but not least, ‘illiberal models of democracy’ in Poland and Hungary demonstrate the far right's capacity to transform politics on the European level.

The causes for the rightward shift discussed in the media and academia are manifold: the economic crisis, the diversification of European societies as a consequence of the influx of migrants and refugees, post-democratic technocratization of European austerity politics as well as a diffuse disenchantment with liberal democracy. Beyond these rather general grievances, strategies and practices of far right actors remain largely neglected or restricted to scholarly and activist debates. This blog series aims to bridge the gap of public interest and academic research and provides a forum for scholars, journalists and practitioners alike to exchange central insights from their work.

Defining the far right broadly as a political space whose actors base their ideology and action on the inequality of human beings and combine the supremacy of a particular nation, race or ‘civilization’ with ambitions for an authoritarian transformation of values and styles of government, this blog series will discuss contemporary developments in the European far right with regard to three current issues:

The first is the growing diversification of far right activism and changing interaction of its actors through new forms of coalition building, mobilization and communication technology. The research on the far right has traditionally a strong focus on party politics. However, far right activism assumes increasingly hybrid forms and yields new actors which imply different relations to the institutional framework of liberal democracy. Hence, complex dynamics emerge in the far right with regard to means and strategies and establish new forms of claims making.

Second, we will consider the blurring distinction between mainstream and far right in various European societies with the diverse ramifications. On the one hand, several major parties and established actors turned to the right with regard to the migration debate and facilitated a radicalization of the political mainstream. On the other hand, far right figures and movements gained public credibility in the political landscape. This trend provided for spaces and political opportunities for more radical forces that strive to escalate social and political conflicts.

The third topic is the mutual fertilization processes with regard to discourse, ideology and practice at the transnational level. Despite the nationalist consensus, far right activism is long since compatible with global – and in particular European – concepts of politics ranging from new right ideas of ethno-pluralism to racial ideologies of white supremacists and neo-Nazis. These approaches manifest in international alliances as well as in transnationally mobilized demonstrations and subcultural events. Reinforced by similar problem perceptions and increased exchange, new forms of transnational collaboration appeared but remain largely understudied or misunderstood.

Overview on the upcoming contributions

Trouble on the Far Right will convene succinct analyses on far right activism and politics. In times of social unrest and continuous restructuring of European politics the accounts may broaden the perspective on a subject that is emotionally discussed but hardly understood among European publics. The pan-European approach aims not only to identify parallels and differences of mobilization efforts and electoral performance but also points to the fact that the ideological corpus, interconnections and organizational structures of the far right have far surpassed national boundaries and demand a transnational response. The following questions set the framework for an interdisciplinary debate in the coming weeks:

  • Which manifestations challenge the political systems and civil societies in Europe?
  • Which new forms of mobilization can be detected? How have patterns of mobilization changed recently? Which national peculiarities are apparent?
  • How do transnational developments influence far right activism locally and regionally?
  • How do parties and movements from the far right influence the political climate and mainstream parties?
  • How do authorities, parties and civil society respond to the far right challenge?

Scholarly debate on far right politics is far from consensus on the use of concepts, terminologies and methodologies. Quite often they provoke conflict on the normative basis of research, the instruments of empirical inquiry and the relationship to the research object. As long as these discussions are ongoing, we as conveners aim to offer a pluralist framework that allows different approaches to reflect on their work. Thus, opinions and estimations will inevitably diverge on different levels. This being said, we are convinced that disagreements are productive to provide new perspectives on contentious issues and enhance our understanding on far right phenomena. Consequently, we hope to stimulate discussions in our comments section on the pointed analysis between the respective authors and interested readers.

Maik Fielitz (Goethe University Frankfurt/Main) and Laura Lotte Laloire (Goethe University Frankfurt/Main, Technical University Darmstadt)

Bisherige Beiträge

Trouble on the­ Far-Right – European challenge, national actors, local practices

by Maik Fielitz and Laura Lotte Laloire – 17.03.2016

Europe is in trouble. Far right politics is spreading all over the place and its actors and discourses become increasingly influential at various levels: Parties from the far right achieved successes in French, Austrian and Slovakian elections. Far right movement organizations in Germany and Italy mobilized thousands of people to the streets. In Sweden and Great Britain, vigilante and terrorist groups wage armed struggle. And last but not least, ‘illiberal models of democracy‘ in Poland and Hungary demonstrate the far right’s capacity to transform politics on the European level.

The shifting shape of the European far right

by Liz Fekete – 18.03.2016

Since 2011 signs have been multiplying in Europe of a far right grassroots insurgency in the making. And there were signals, too, of a racist insurrection: arson attacks, petrol bombs, paramilitary and vigilante activities, and the stockpiling of weapons. The first major indication of the far right’s capacity for mass murder came from Norway on 22 July 2011. Anders Behring Breivik killed 77 people, mainly teenagers, whom he shot dead at the Labour Party youth summer camp on Oslo’s Utøya Island. At his trial, Breivik described the youngsters he so cruelly murdered as ‘traitors‘ who had embraced immigration in order to promote an ‘Islamic colonization of Norway’.

Breivik’s actions, set against the backcloth of his 1,500-page manifesto, 2083: A European Declaration of Independence, sent out to 1,003 people he considered fellow travellers ninety minutes before he embarked on his killing spree, should have alerted people to the dangerous ideological underpinnings of Europe’s defence leagues, pro-identity and anti-Islam movements that were mushrooming across Europe. These cheerleaders for more and more wars in the Muslim world, which can broadly be described as counter-jihadism, began to emerge during the Gulf War but became more visible and vocal after the events of 11 September 2001. For a variety of reasons, the threat posed by these ultra-patriot movements was not taken seriously enough nor was there any reflection on the wider political context that was nourishing the far right.

Debating with the Nouvelle Droite: What did I learn?

by Tamir Bar-On – 23.03.2016

I am the author of two books about the French nouvelle droite (ND – New Right): Where Have All The Fascists Gone? and Rethinking the French New Right: Alternatives to modernity. In 2014, I published a piece entitled „The French New Right Neither Right, nor Left?“. Surprisingly, the French ND leader Alain de Benoist responded with a polemical and largely ad hominem article in the same journal.1 I must stress that I neither identify with a political party, nor a political movement. I do not support any ideological current. De Benoist does. He is self-described as a man of the right. Hence, he cannot even claim intellectual objectivity.

In this piece, I want to offer some comments on my debate with de Benoist. I argue that while we should strive towards intellectual objectivity, we cannot be silent in the face of falsehoods. In this respect, the ND plays a dishonest game. Its leader and other ND intellectuals feign intellectual objectivity and the platitudes of transcending right and left, but they want cultural hegemony and the triumph of their decidedly radical right-wing ideals.

Strategies of Contention. Right-Wing Extremism and ‘Counter-State Terror’ as a Threat for Western Democracies

by Daniel Koehler – 24.03.2016

Terror from the extreme right has again gained a wider public attention in 2011 with the devastating attacks carried out by Anders Behring Breivik in Norway and the detection of the right-wing terrorist cell called “National Socialist Underground” (NSU), which had committed ten murders, three bombings and a dozen bank robberies during more than a decade of time in Germany. In many Western countries violence motivated by racism, anti-government hate, anti-Semitism or other aspects of right-wing extremism, appears to be a regular part of criminal activities. Hate crime legislation and statistics vary strongly but show that next to high intense terrorist attacks such as 9/11, the attacks in London, Madrid or Paris, right-wing violence and terrorism is the most dangerous politically motivated threat. In the United States for example Perliger (2012) counted 4,420 right-wing terrorist incidents between 1990 and 2012 causing 670 fatalities and 3,053 injuries. In Germany official statistics counted 69 right-wing attacks between 1990 and 2015 causing 75 casualties, while civil society watchdogs count up to 184 deaths. In Russia some experts speak of approximately 450 right-wing motivated killings between 2004 and 2010. Nevertheless, this specific form of political violence remains largely under-researched and misunderstood as non-terroristic. In consequence the threat from the far right is continuously downplayed with severe consequences for victims and the internal security.

Right Wing Terrorism & Hate Crime in the UK: A Historical Perspective

by Alex Carter – 29.03.2016

The threat that the far right poses to civil society changes across time and space. In Britain this threat has generally been in the form of hate-crimes and public disorder, yet in the past two decades there has been a shift towards solo-actor terrorism. By examining far right groups in the UK in the post-war period this paper explores the drivers of this change; namely, how membership in extremist groups combined with the proliferation of far right networks created by the internet can create a pathway to radicalisation which ends in acts of terror.

The turning fortunes of Romania’s far right. The rise and fall of Greater Romania Party

by Mihnea-Simion Stoica – 31.03.2016

As everywhere else in Eastern Europe, ever since the fall of the communist regime, Romania’s political system has experienced dramatic changes from one electoral cycle to another, starting off with what was considered to be an inflation of political parties at the beginning of the 1990’s and arriving today at what seems to approximate a two-party system, with the Social-Democratic Party (PSD) on the left and the National Liberal Party (PNL) on the right side of the political spectrum. However, the fog surrounding the ideological identities of virtually all Romanian political parties has only intensified in time, leaving the party system in flux and creating the idea that there are no significant differences between the major political players. As was the case of many other countries, this situation has generated the (at least partial) success of a radical anti-establishment discourse. However, unlike other European countries, the far right in Romania did not benefit by the financial crisis.

The far right in Latvia: Should we be worried?

by Matthew Kott – 01.04.2016

While one cannot say that the far right movements and ideologies in Latvia are in a state of flux, the current situation in Europe has prompted some developments that could turn into significant trends in the medium to longer term.1 In turn, these could have an effect on broader European politics, if left unchecked.

But – where do these people come from? The (Re)Emergence of Radical Nationalism in Finland

by Oula Silvennoinen – 04.04.2016

Trouble’s brewing for the European Union – also in Finland, where the next country-wide elections will see several new, EU-hostile nationalist groups attempt to establish themselves on the political map. At the same time, Finnish Fascism is seeking to entrench and normalize itself into a respectable part of the political framework.

The far right in Austria: small on the streets, big in parliament

by Bernhard Weidinger – 06.04.2016

Since around 1990, the state of the Austrian far right1 has been characterized by the strength of the Austrian Freedom Party (FPÖ – Freiheitliche Partei Österreichs, more precisely translated as Freedomite Party of Austria2) and the relative weakness of extra-parliamentarian far right activism. Far from a mere coincidence, these two features are to be understood as closely linked: the FPÖ’s electoral successes have brought far right causes and talking points unto the political center stage on a national level, given them ample media coverage and made street militancy increasingly pointless. Insofar, the Austrian far right spectrum could – at least until recently – be described as a photographic negative of the situation in Germany: successful party politics, weak bottom-up mobilizations and a comparatively low incidence of street violence. Currently, however, the long held hopes of German right-wingers for a party both in the mold, and strength, of the FPÖ are apparently being fulfilled by the emergence of the Alternative for Germany (AfD). Conversely, both legal and illegal street activism have been on the rise in Austria in recent years, particularly since the start of the asylum crisis in Europe. Numerous violent incidents were reported in 2015, including a minimum of 25 attacks on housing facilities for asylum seekers.

What’s in the mind of the neo-Nazi next door? A personal reflection on the rise and persistence of Golden Dawn in Greece

by Angélique Kourounis – 08.04.2016

How can a racist party that was getting less than 0.­­2% of the vote for years, enter parliament with 18 MPs? How can a party that promotes violence, hate, sexism and murders amplify its reach after each pogrom? How can Golden Dawn remain the third political power in Greece for four years? And what’s in the mind of a Golden Dawner?

Patterns of far right and anti-Muslim mobilisation in the United Kingdom

by Graham Macklin – 11.04.2016

Far right and anti-Muslim politics in Britain have become increasingly fragmented. The British National Party (BNP), once the leading far right party, has largely collapsed. During the 2010 general election the BNP polled only 1.9% of the vote and was overshadowed by the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), a right-wing, anti-immigration populist party unencumbered by the BNP’s debilitating historical baggage. Thereafter, the BNP leadership descended into demoralization, bitter recrimination and factional rivalry, hastening the departure of its activist base, the collapse of its membership and leading, ultimately, to the expulsion of its chairman, Nick Griffin, as the party continued its further descent to political irrelevance. The BNP appears ‘finished’ as a political force, its ‘quest for legitimacy’ at an end.

Judgment in Hungary: A filmmaker reflects

by Eszter Hajdu – 13.04.2016

In 2008 and 2009, a group of Hungarian right-wing extremists committed a series of attacks on random members of the Roma community. Six people were killed, including a five-year-old, and another five were injured. The trial of the four suspects lasted two-and-a-half years, and the verdict was passed in August 2013. Director Eszter Hajdú filmed the trial and condensed it to create an oppressive Kammerspielfilm starring the cold-blooded suspects, an irritable judge and the victims’ families. Without any commentary, Hajdú recorded the drawn-out and sometimes chaotic trial from the cramped courtroom’s public gallery. A small static camera shows the judge's point of view, while close-ups highlight the emotions of the people touched by the crime. Sometimes we see the protagonists outside the courtroom, for example during the reconstruction at the crime scene. At the start of the trial, the victims and next of kin assume there will be justice, and they have faith that the Hungarian authorities will protect them. But will the extremists be found guilty? The widespread anti-Roma sentiment in Hungarian society, and the bungling (intentional or otherwise) on the part of the police give them reason to fear they will not.

Judgment in Hungary: An independent documentary from Hungary

No one-trick ponies: the multifaceted appeal of the populist radical right

by Stijn van Kessel – 15.04.2016

The environment for populist radical right (PRR) parties in Europe is favourable. Both the refugee crisis as well as the recent terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels have ostensibly fuelled further xenophobic and anti-Islam sentiments among European publics, on the basis of which PRR parties have been shown to build their support. Recent elections in Europe have indeed seen good results for parties with an outspoken xenophobic message, the victories in March 2016 for the Alternative for Germany (AfD) in the German regional elections and two far right parties (SNS and L’SNS) in the Slovak national elections being cases in point. Opinion polls in countries such as France and the Netherlands look equally promising for PRR parties. Even though not all European countries have witnessed the successful mobilisation of the PRR, it is fair to conclude that this party family is going strong. It would be too quick to conclude, however, that PRR parties only thrive on the recent salience of the immigration issue.

The Achilles Heel of Bulgaria’s Far Right: the Linkage between the Extreme Right and the Patriotic Front

by Yordan Kutiyski – 18.04.2016

Ever since Bulgaria’s admission to the European Union (EU) in 2007, the country’s domestically weak far right has managed to send its representatives to the European Parliament (EP). Prior to 2014, these MEPs remained largely isolated, retaining a non-affiliated status. Initially, Volen Siderov’s far right party Attack, the first of its kind in post-communist Bulgaria, won three seats in the legislative body in 2007. Formed in 2005, Attack quickly gained electoral support, conveying a strong xenophobic and anti-minority rhetoric combined with emphasis on Orthodox Christian values and opposition to globalization. No other Bulgarian party has previously sought to attract voters using such a strategy. Attack participated in the short-lived Identity, Tradition, Sovereignty group in the EP. Further efforts for constructing a lasting political grouping on the far right with the participation of Bulgarian parties remained futile, making their influence on debate-shaping and decision-making hardly possible. Winning a seat less in 2009, Attack remained outside of any recognized EP political group.

On Patrol with the new German Vigilantes

by Oliver Saal – 20.04.2016

Germany’s political culture currently faces a shift to the right as anti-immigrant violence and attacks on refugee camps are on the brink of becoming a daily routine. The populist party Alternative für Deutschland (Alternative for Germany) did achieve successes in every recent federal state election. Through their success politics gained a new political quality. Anti-immigrant groups such as PEGIDA in Dresden regularly mobilize hundreds and sometimes thousands of people. The increased number of refugees that came to Germany in 2015 is instrumentalized to fuel racism and to spread nationalist sentiments.

Erdoğans Wölfe – Die Kriegsallianz von MHP und AKP

von Nikolaus Brauns – 21.04.2016

„Wir sind zwar hinter Gittern, aber unsere Ideen sind an der Macht“, erklärte der Führer der Grauen Wölfe, Alparslan Türkeş nach dem Militärputsch vom 12. September 1980 in der Türkei. Damals hatten die Generäle als Zeichen ihrer angeblichen Neutralität neben Zehntausenden inhaftierten Linken auch einige hundert Anhänger der faschistischen Grauen Wölfe anklagen lassen. Entsprechend könnten sich heute seine Nachfolger rühmen: „Wir sind zwar nicht an der Regierung, aber unsere Ideen sind an der Macht.“ Denn die Herrschaft der seit 2002 alleine regierenden und gemeinhin als islamisch-konservativ charakterisierten Partei für Gerechtigkeit und Aufschwung (Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi – AKP) von Staatspräsident Recep Tayyip Erdoğan und Ministerpräsident Ahmet Davutoğlu stützt sich zunehmend auf die Ideologie, die Methoden und selbst das Personal der Grauen Wölfe. Umgekehrt ist die offiziell in der Opposition stehende parlamentarische Vertretung der Grauen Wölfe, die Partei der Nationalistischen Bewegung (Milliyetçi Hareket Partisi – MHP) eine Kriegsallianz mit der AKP-Regierung gegen die kurdische Befreiungsbewegung eingegangen.

Der Aufstieg und Fall Swobodas: Restrukturierung im ukrainischen Nationalismus

von Mathias Schmidt – 22.04.2016

Um eines gleich deutlich zu machen: Über rechtsradikale Tendenzen in der Ukraine zu schreiben ist ein Drahtseilakt. Schließlich ist die Debatte in einen größeren Kontext eingebettet: Seit den Ereignissen auf dem Maidan 2014 und dem anschließenden Regime-Change erheben pro-russische Medien die sachlich schwer begründbare Beschuldigung, dass der Westen den Charakter der „faschistischen Junta in Kiew“ verkenne. Auf der anderen Seite bagatellisieren einige Publikationen die real existierenden rechten Umtriebe in der Ukraine beträchtlich. So handelt man sich schnell den Vorwurf ein, wahlweise „die faschistischen Ukrainer“ zu protegieren oder sich „den imperialistischen Russen“ anzubiedern. An dieser Stelle bleibt die notwendige Aufgabe Meinungen von Fakten zu trennen.

Die bedeutendste Kraft der parlamentarischen Rechten in der Ukraine ist die „Freiheitspartei“ Swoboda. Ihre Beteiligung an der Übergangsregierung nach den Maidan-Protesten galt einigen Beobachtern als Beweis für einen Rechtsruck in der Ukraine. Mittlerweile verfügt diese Partei nicht einmal mehr über eine parlamentarische Fraktion. Wie ist es dazu gekommen? Welche Dynamiken stehen dahinter? Ist letztendlich alles in trockenen Tüchern und die Gefahr von rechts gebannt?

Don’t Call Me Right! The Strategy of Normalization in German Right-Wing Extremism

by Holger Marcks – 26.04.2016

When it comes to change in social environments, a parable of philosopher Charles Handy gets pulled out quickly. If you drop a frog in boiling water, it jumps out immediately; but placed in cold water slowly warming up, it acclimates itself and falls to sleep, unaware of being boiled alive. The parable reminds us of the perceptional relativity of change: Within communities creeping developments cause habituation, abrupt breaks an arousing shock. In terms of social movements this truism becomes apparent in a double way: On the one hand, erupting crises may destabilize social orders and create the necessary space for dissident actors to gain momentum – while they would fail to mobilize outside the scenario of an anxious community gasping for a new guarantor of order. On the other hand, the rise of a dissident actor with unconventional performances may work as a shock triggering withdrawal reflexes in the broader society – while dissidents with relative habitual sentiments can find resonance in communities disappointed by the ruling order.

Does this perspective offer a potential to explain the rise of far right movements in Europe? Let’s examine it by the example of Germany where, in the last two years, far right actors have experienced a remarkable gain in political acceptance – on the streets, in the booths and in the talk shows. In this case, it could be argued that their success in protest and electoral mobilizations as well as their disproportionate high presence in the media rests on communication politics that effect a normalization of far right positions previously disreputed in public discourse. Through this creeping habituation by society, they are able to gain momentum in situations of crisis, producing themselves successfully as a legitimate agent of the “anxious citizens” disappointed by the government. To test this little argument, a finger exercise in frame analysis seems to be proper, a tool common in social movement studies to explain why certain ideas in certain contexts are potent to mobilize audiences – and are not in others.

Preparing for (intellectual) civil war – the New Right in Austria and Germany

by Natascha Strobl and Julian Bruns – 28.04.2016

On April 14th, activists of the Identitäre Bewegung Österreich (Identitarian Movement Austria) entered the stage during a performance of Elfriede Jelinek’s play “Die Schutzbefohlenen” (The Wards) in the main hall of the University of Vienna. Some of the 30 persons showed a banner soaked in artificial blood that said: “Ihr Heuchler!” (You hypocrites!). Actors – among them refugees and children – were shocked. It was the intervention of some antifascist audience members that ended the disruption. This media-attracting act ranks among several incidents caused by New Right actors which have received increasing attention in the German and Austrian public. From the early 2000s on, the New Right established new specialized forms of media and institutions – and increasingly took to the streets. The Identitarians are the spearhead of this new strategic development. At first glance, this might look like a contradiction since the very definition of New Right is the one of a movement which has shifted from action to intellectual debate. But this is only one side of the story.

Black sheep in a far-right zoo? Fethullah Gülen’s strategy of ‘non-violence’

by Laura Lotte Laloire – 03.05.2016

Just a few days ago during a parliamentary session, a Kurdish deputy was violently attacked and injured by members of the governing Justice and Development Party (AKP). As if to support Charles Tilly’s statement that ‘political violence occurs when actors have few opportunities, yet enough resources to mobilize for violence’1, many groups in Turkey are currently involved in a battle against Kurdish, Alevi or Left Turkish citizens. The Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in a political stalemate, uses military and police, but also the Nationalist Movement Party’s (MHP) youth organization Grey Wolves as well as Islamist militias like Esedullah Timleri (Arabic for: Lions of Allah) have increasingly resorted to violence as tool of action.

Political violence has been a central characteristic of the Turkish far-right, which largely resembles street-based mobilization in Western Europe. Despite the common ultra-nationalist ideology, the Gülen Movement (GM) stands out. AKP’s former “soft-power instrument” now appears to be the only reasonable and non-violent player among all of these self-named animal groups. Since the power struggle escalated between Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Fethullah Gülen in 2013, the GM has been seen as a victim of Erdoğan’s repressive measures, instead of making itself conspicuous by using violence. How can we explain this exception?

The French Identitaires’ strategy: Entering politics through the media

by Samuel Bouron – 06.05.2016

French far right activism experienced tremendous changes in recent years. Besides traditional far right party politics, new patterns of street-based mobilization attract especially action-oriented youths. This trend is epitomized by the growing popularity of the Bloc Identitaire (official name; shortened to “Identitaires”). Its ideology rests on the idea that there exists a struggle between different political families in order to become the legitimate representative of the people, and that the extreme right is winning this struggle. Behind the scenes, the recurring idea of the Bloc Identitaires is to occupy a cultural and “meta-political” territory that was once the monopoly of the left. Their aim is that they are gradually associated with the only possible alternative to change the world. They try to frame a maximum of popular needs and present themselves as substitutes for when the economy and the state will be bankrupt. So you can eat the food of the Identitaires, drink their beer (the “Desouchière”), buy their clothes, listen to their music or read their books and thus participate in financing the movement.

CasaPound Italia: the fascist hybrid

by Heiko Koch – 09.05.2016

Changing political and economic situations generate new types of political protagonists – the far right is no exception here. Whether its structures and organizational forms endure, whether they diffuse (trans)nationally, whether their models prove successful, depends on various factors. A model that is currently about to serve as a flagship for the far right in Europe is the neo-fascist movement / party CasaPound. So why is this organizational model within the far right in Italy and Europe so successful?

My contribution is intended to shed light on the hybridity of CasaPound and the resulting force for the renewal of fascism. To carry out my argument, I will first describe the evolution of CasaPound from a movement to a party. Then I will discuss strategies and practices in terms of organizational and ideological hybridization, to finally outline the European dimension of the self-proclaimed „fascists of the third millennium“.

Who are ‘they’? Continuities and changes in the discourse of CasaPound Italia on migration and otherness

by Caterina Froio – 12.05.2016

According to several observers new waves of refugees’ arrivals could increase the popularity of far right organizations. In these interpretations electoral and political support should be promoted by societal resonance of ethnocentric discourses. Recent data from the Eurobarometer illustrates that in EU-member states migration from non-EU countries is now considered to be the most important concern that the Union is facing. This is a sudden shift with respect to the results of the 2013 Eurobarometer where – in the middle of the euro crisis – EU citizens seemed to be more concerned about the economy and unemployment. I propose to place the magnifying glass on the arguments developed by these organizations by focusing on the least researched members of the far right family: nonparty organizations. After introducing CasaPound Italia (CPI) it will be discussed what fuels its anti-migrant’s discourse by highlighting continuities and changes with respect to classic nativist far right rhetoric. Digging into the arguments is crucial to getting a better assessment of their potential appeal especially in a favorable context. mehr...

„Ein Gänsehautschauer nach dem anderen“: Die Bedeutung europäischer Aufmärsche für die deutsche Neonazi-Szene

von Tobias Hoff – 17.05.2016

Dass deutsche Neonazis ins europäische Ausland fahren um dort an „Gedenkmärschen“ teilzunehmen, stellt grundsätzlich keinen Widerspruch dar. Die extreme Rechte oder der Neonazismus war und ist kein rein nationales Phänomen. Schon im 20. Jahrhundert existierten diverse Bündnisse unter den faschistischen Bewegungen in Europa und auch heute haben sich in verschiedenen europäischen Ländern extrem rechte Bewegungen und Organisationen etabliert, die sich grenzüberschreitend vernetzen, kooperieren und eine (gemeinsame) Straßenpolitik betreiben.

In der Begründung einer länderübergreifenden Zusammenarbeit rekurriert die extreme Rechte auf verschiedene Europakonzeptionen und -vorstellungen. Innerhalb des deutschen Neonazismus existiert eine starke Bezugnahme auf eine Europa-Idee, die auf völkisch-rassistische Ordnungsvorstellungen des Nationalsozialismus zurückgreift. Einen wichtigen Anknüpfungspunkt stellt die Heroisierung der SS bzw. der Divisionen dar, in denen „Waffenbrüder“ aus verschiedenen europäischen Ländern gekämpft haben. Die Orientierung an einem vermeintlichen Kampf für eine „weiße Rasse“ und ein „freies Europa der Völker“ dient der extremen Rechten auch heute als gemeinsame Basis für transnationale Kooperationen. Neben dieser allgemeinen europäischen Ausrichtung der extremen Rechten, existieren weitere konkrete Beweggründe und Faktoren, die dazu führen, dass deutsche Neonazis im europäischen Ausland an Demonstrationen teilnehmen. Ausschlaggebend können persönliche oder organisatorische Kontakte und Freundschaften zwischen extrem rechten Gruppen und Einzelpersonen sein. Dies ist besonders in Grenzgebieten der Fall, und daher finden oft durch die räumliche Nähe transnationale Kooperationen statt. Darüber hinaus kann auch die Hoffnung, sich an Ausschreitungen und Übergriffen beteiligen zu können, ein Grund für deutsche Neonazis sein, sich auf Reisen zu begeben.

„Justnationalistgirls“: Virtuelles Mimikry von Rechts und wie die politische Bildungsarbeit damit umgehen sollte

von Kathalena Essers – 18.05.2016

Ein Mädchen auf einem Fahrrad. Weiße Bluse, schwarzer langer Rock, weiße Socken, schwarze Schuhe. Sie fährt durch eine idyllische, friedlich wirkende, sommerliche Landschaft. Unter dem Foto steht: „Revolt against the modern world – justnationalistgirls“.

Eine Demonstration. Einzig bengalische Feuer erleuchten die Dunkelheit. Schemenhaft erkennt man eine Frau, die auf eine gefährlich anmutende Menge zugeht. Sie wirkt stark. Unter dem Foto steht: „The night’s still young – justnationalistgirls“.

Dass rechte Bewegungen Facebook zur Mobilisierung nutzen, ist bekannt. Auch die extrem rechte Facebookseite justnationalistgirls, die knapp 9000 Nutzer*innen liken, transportiert extrem rechte Inhalte, jedoch ungleich subtiler verpackt, als es auf so manch dezidiert neonazistischer Facebookseite der Fall ist. Justnationalistgirls und ähnliche Seiten reproduzieren auf den ersten Blick, scheinbar harmlos, eine idealisierte Vorstellung von Mädchen und jungen Frauen, die ihr heimisches Idyll beschützen möchten. Die im April 2014 gegründete Seite hat sich vor allem in Frankreich, Deutschland, Österreich, Polen und den USA eine Anhänger*innenschaft erarbeitet. Die generelle Botschaft ist nicht offensichtlich erkennbar. Mit Sicherheit gesagt werden kann jedoch, dass justnationalistgirls mindestens zwei, scheinbar widersprüchliche Weiblichkeitsbilder verbreitet, welche in den meisten rechten Gruppen oder Bewegungen Anklang finden: Zum einen die traditionelle Rolle der Frau als Mutter der Nation, zum anderen die der Kämpferin neben dem Mann im „nationalen Befreiungskampf“.

Abortion as a contentious issue in Polish Culture war. Women and their rights in nationalists’ strategies

by Halina Gąsiorowska – 19.05.2016

In Poland, the long lasting culture war over gender roles and religion has been easily framed by the far right into Samuel Huntington’s concept of the “clash of civilizations”. A well-known juxtaposition used in right-wing propaganda: ‘civilization of life’ vs. ‘civilization of death’ in reference to anti-abortion and pro-choice movements respectively is now used to refer to Christians and Muslims. The role of Polish women and the right to abortion remain in the center of the conflict of modernity.

Europe in trouble? Concluding remarks on our blog series “Trouble on the Far Right”

by Maik Fielitz and Laura Lotte Laloire – 24.05.2016

Trouble on the far right has become troubling for Europe. Not only do right-wing motivated attacks occur regularly against Roma camps, ethnic minorities, LGBTQI people and Jewish institutions. At the same time, a xenophobic discourse on refugees has gained momentum in politics and society and further blurred the lines between far right agitation and mainstream politics. In order to classify these events adequately, far right activism should not just be regarded as a security issue that can be eliminated by force, but as a threat that threatens the foundations of open, democratic and pluralist societies. Hence, we should be aware that far right politics are neither a new nor an isolated phenomenon but often bank on existing cultures of (gender, competitive, nativist) domination in capitalist societies.