Shock and Awe
Lest we forget
Security and the Far Right in Europe
Demotix/Alexandros Michailidis. All rights reserved
Mobilized by politicians, security has been high up on domestic agendas in Europe since 2001. While migrants and Muslims have been increasingly scrutinized and often criminalised, many themes which used to be associated with the far right have expanded into the mainstream. How much does the current success of radical right parties throughout Europe owe to the ‘politics of fear’ around security issues? Our group of experts guide us through the landscape of the contemporary European far right.
Part I: What the Greek case is telling us about Europe
Ruth Wodak introduces a special feature on Greece in the context of European exclusionary politics: Aristotle Kallis on the role played by anti-immigration programmes in the recent electoral success of the Greek radical right; Salomi Boukala, who reminds us that scapegoating and hate crimes are currents that run deeply throughout Greek political history.
Part II: Is populism winning over thanks to «insecurity»?
Arguably, the main impact of the European radical right lies in its capacity to set the political agenda for other parties. Radical populist discourses on «insecurity» such as the Dutch or Flemish ones have permeated the mainstream. They have allowed the radical right to win new electorates, like in Austria, while in France it precipitated a shift of the conservatives towards the far right.
Part III: From hate speech to hate crime?
According to a Europol report, the radical right now represents the main terrorist threat in Europe; hate crime is also increasingly exposed as a multi-faceted phenomenon. Yet the relationship between hate crime and the electoral fate of the radical right is not straightforward, as both the Ukrainian and Scandinavian cases show. The UK case sheds light on the importance of radical right subcultures in staging both violent and nonviolent protest.
Part IV: Geopolitics of the far right
The impact of the far right is most visible at the local level, especially in disadvantaged rural areas, but also relates to global trends and may be a factor for regional destabilization.