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The rise of the radical right is no longer so new. What is remarkable is not their largely symbolic electoral triumphs, but their profound impact on mainstream self-perceptions, on everything from manners and values to citizenship, and border regimes. It is not only in Serbia that the nation form itself seems to side with the radical right. How does this work, in our societies, our parliaments and our media?

Turkey's growing constitutional conundrum

Why does Turkey need a new constitution and what makes it so difficult to draft one?

The new war in Europe?

The European Union was founded in reaction to what I call ‘old war’ – the wars of the twentieth century. Even though material interests ought logically to lead to increased political cooperation, contemporary European politics, or the absence of politics, suggest instead the possibility of what I call a ‘new war’.

Mainstreaming the brown spectre haunting Europe

From Geert Wilders in the Netherlands to Marine Le Pen in France, far right politicians using new strategies are being welcomed into mainstream discourse.


In this excerpt from ‘Sweden: the reluctant nation’, published as part of Counterpoint’s ‘Europe’s Reluctant Radicals’ project, Göran Rosenberg explores the history of the Swedish political ideal of ‘folkhemmet’ [the people’s home].

The democratic game – when it gets serious

In a remarkable article, Benjamin Ward uses his analysis of intolerance in Europe to suggest solutions, a line many are still wary of crossing. 
This is, however, where we start to disagree.

Divided we fall: intolerance in Europe puts rights at risk

The truth is discomforting: hatred and intolerance are moving into the mainstream in Europe. 

Torture in Greece

With reports emerging of antifascist protesters being tortured by the Greek police, a new line has been crossed in the progressive adoption of ideas and methods inspired by Golden Dawn in all layers of Greek society. What can save Greece now?

The constitutionality of the Belgian burqa ban

On 6 December 2012, the Belgian Constitutional Court held that the 2011 so-called “burqa ban” does not violate the Belgian Constitution. A boundary is crossed when rights of individuals are simply sacrificed to majority sentiments; a boundary which should be protected by institutions such as the Court.

Why the future of Greece lies in the rise of a new civil society and education

One of the biggest challenges for post-austerity Greece will be the rebuilding of a strong civil society. Future foundations are already being laid out through new and exciting citizen initiatives, but much is yet to be done.

Roma inclusion in 2012: no respite in prejudice

Does the EU deserve its Nobel Peace Prize? 2013 is the European Year of Citizens, dedicated to the rights that come with EU citizenship. It seems utterly remote and removed from the reality facing millions of Roma across the Union.  

Is Greece a racist state?

Mainstream politicians have been playing a dangerous game. It remains unclear to what extent these tactics represent a conscious attempt to distract those suffering most as a result of the longterm maladministration of the country. But this constitutes only a small part of the scenario we are investigating here.

Christmas trees, Islam and right wing populism: a Danish Christmas story

‘Christmas takes ages and costs a lot of money…’ goes a popular Danish Christmas carol. This year, Christmas started early and revitalized old debates about failed integration, cultural incompatibility and Islamization.

Democracy in a state of emergency: Greece, the EU and the eurozone debt crisis

Day after day, it is becoming clearer that the European Union has no intention of tackling its democratic deficit. It is time for the Union to realize it has failed Greece, European citizens and its own ideals - including democracy.

The crumbling of Finland’s consensus culture: silence into rumpus

Finland underwent a spectacular populist upheaval in 2011, when the True Finns won over nearly one fifth of the vote and went on to become the main opposition party to the current government. The prelude to this was growing disquiet towards Finland’s consensus-dominated political culture.

How populism grew its roots in the Netherlands

As politics and elite behaviour move away from consensus and inclusion, Geert Wilders has been able to capitalise on the social compartmentalisation that characterises the modern Netherlands.

The French right's lose-lose election

Former president Sarkozy's UMP party is torn apart by the trial of strength between former PM Fillon and Party chair Copé. Both have claimed victory in last week's extremely tight election, pointing to several cases of fraud. Many fear this might result in an implosion of the party and a reconfiguration of the French right.

The trouble with Fortress Europe

To prevent illegal immigration, the EU has built a set of far-reaching border control and enforcement policies. But it doesn't work: today's 'Fortress Europe' is an inefficient, immoral and costly bureaucratic construction that should be urgently reformed.

Who are the Finns? Ask The Finns!

Combining support for the welfare state with xenophobic populist sentiments, The Finns have clouded and shaken the traditionally straightforward Finnish political landscape. Beyond this textbook example of mainstream recognition for a previously radical faction, what do the Finns really stand for?

Flemish nationalism: a new landscape

The results of Belgium's local elections has brought victory in the northern Flanders region to the conservative and nationalist but democratic New Flemish Alliance. This represents the transformation of Flemish nationalism, says Cas Mudde.

In crisis-ridden Europe, euroscepticism is the new cultural trend

As the euro crisis becomes increasingly inextricable, European solidarity erodes. What if the new cultural common denominator between northern and southern Europe was contempt for the Union?

Europe: are there Nazis living on the moon?

Costa Concordia, the famous cruise ship that hit a rock in the Tyrrhenian Sea in January 2012 might furnish another aptly-named example for symbolizing the harmony and unity between European nations. 

Something rotten in the kingdom of Norway

At the end of his trial, the terrorist Anders Behring Breivik was deemed sufficiently sane to be imprisoned. But the process and outcome, says Thomas Hylland Eriksen, open another question: will Norway now use the opportunity to deal with its inner demons, namely the sources of Breivik's hatred of a culturally diverse new country?

America’s new revolutionaries

The belief that the United States stands at a historic crossroads is widespread across the political spectrum. But among parts of the right the view takes worrying directions, says Cas Mudde.

Norway’s democratic example

The process and result in the trial of Anders Breivik are a vindication of Norway’s liberal democracy and a lesson for the world, says Cas Mudde.

Wisconsin's Sikh massacre: the real danger

The perpetrator of the latest mass shooting in the United States has been compared to Timothy McVeigh and Anders Breivik. But a closer understanding of his motives and actions is needed before making this connection, says Cas Mudde.

Britain's radical right: electoral failure but success on the streets ?

The BNP's latest electoral defeats are no indication that the attraction of its ideology has faded away. New social movements in Britain are seeking to impart change through extra-parliamentary means.

Hate speech and violent right wing extremism in Scandinavia

Incitement to hatred against 'non-Scandinavians' is widely circulated on the internet, contributing to the legitimizing of right-wing extremist violence and the political exclusion of immigrants. If this does not endanger the political system as such, we should worry that it jeopardizes the right to security for many.

From Pan-Germanism to new populism in Austria

When it comes to European exclusionary politics, the Austrian case is a puzzling story of a historically rooted right-wing extremism which managed to overcome the outdating of its main ideological component – thanks to anti-immigration xenophobia.

The security turn of French politics and the rejuvenation of the Front National

Has the increasing focus on security issues in French politics given an advantage to the radical right or the conservative right? The defeat of Nicolas Sarkozy indicates that the FN remains a length ahead in this domain.

Crime and punishment in the Netherlands

Under the pressure of right wing populism, the Netherlands have been transformed from a country that was a model of humane crime policy to one hung up on security and punishment. The offensive of the populist right has been so effective that even social democrats now repudiate their multiculturalist past and lament over their policy mistakes.  

Security and the radical right in Flanders

Security has been a major theme in the rhetoric of the Vlaams Block/Belang since the late 1980s. Their combination of strong anti-immigrant statements and simplistic proposals has been appropriated by mainstream parties in Belgium.

Grammars of enmity: a Golden Dawn of contemporary Greek democracy?

Far right groups like Golden Dawn are not a new phenomenon in Greek society, nor do they derive from the consequences of today’s financial crisis. The roots of fascist groups are to be found in an old tendency to rely on the vilification of a political enemy to rule.

Greek populist parties and the disoriented mainstream

The results of May's legislative elections in Greece may derive from the degree of public anger at the EU-IMF rescue package. Nevertheless, immigration was featured very prominently in party programs and public discourses as the main security concern – a trend not limited to the radical right.

Security Discourses and the Radical Right

Ruth Wodak launches a series of updates on the rise of the far right and exclusionary discourses in Europe. What should the democratic response be to these ideologies?

France: towards a new right

The first round of France’s presidential election leaves the incumbent president, Nicolas Sarkozy, in a tight corner. Its result also presages a longer struggle over the future shape of the country's political right, says Patrice de Beer.

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