Surveying the ‘Far Right’ in Europe: Reflections on Recent Trends and Conceptual Approaches

In: European Yearbook of Minority Issues Online
Paul Jackson
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Primarily focused on recent trends in Western Europe, this article examines a range of phenomena that fall under the label “far right”. It problematizes this slippery term before surveying recent developments in the diverse range of political parties, from the United Kingdom Independence Party to Jobbik, identifying a broad trend toward such parties achieving greater electoral success by moderating extremist elements. Following this, it highlights the complex relationships found between what are often dubbed “populist” far right political parties and other, more “extreme” forms of activity. Finally, it identifies three major “narratives” found in more extreme far right movements in Europe: neo-Nazi, New Right and anti-Muslim. It asserts that movements animated by such agendas do impact far right political parties. It also stresses academic debate needs to engage with figures outside academia, to create new solutions to the issues raised by variegated forms of far right activity.

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