2020 - Page 2

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, discussed in this blog earlier this year. Despite the widespread protests and the unprecedented public engagement against racism and police violence in the country, 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.

Ireland’s general election on 8 February saw a proliferation of radical right-wing candidates but did not herald the expected breakthrough of these parties. As Shaun McDaid explains, the little support for the radical right in Ireland is mainly explained by the ability of the political left to more effectively mobilise the electorate on issues other than immigration. While not counting on imminent success, the radical right in Ireland might nevertheless have the stamina to play the long game. 

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. 

Are European party systems experiencing the emergence of a ‘new’ religious cleavage originating from the exclusion of Islam? In a study recently published in Party Politics, Jakob Schwörer and Belén Fernandez-García show how religious discourses have increased substantially among radical right parties since the turn of the century and that nativist out-group constructions are a crucial driver for positive references to Christianity and secularism.

In less than two weeks, and amid much turbulence, Poland will choose its next President. Far-right politics plays a complex role in the election. While incumbent Andrzej Duda adopted strong anti-LGBTQI stances in the first round, the run-off seems to become framed as a broader contest over voters of far-right challenger Konfederacja. For the liberal opposition such strategy might nonetheless turn out to be double-edged. The stakes are high, as the outcome of the close race between Duda and his pluralist challenger Rafał Trzaskowski can mark a turning point for liberal democracy in Poland.

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 Golden Dawn is an openly neo-Nazi party and its rise in Greek politics should be understood not just as the product of Greece’s economic malaise, but rather of the culmination of the economic crisis into an overall crisis of democracy and political representation. 

The Supreme Court of Finland issued a ban on the neo-Nazi Nordic Resistance Movement in the 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.

What role does religion play in Western European politics nowadays? Is it true that the radical right rediscovered religion for its political communication? C-REX visiting fellow Jakob Schwörer and Xavier Romero-Vidal address these questions in a recently published article in “Religion State and Society”. The text analysis on 36 European parties suggest that nativist parties are focusing on rejecting a religious outgroup, namely Islam, but hardly refer to religious in-groups such as Christians. Since the radical right rarely refers to other religious dimensions than the exclusion of Muslims, there is limited empirical evidence of the so-called “rise of religion” in party politics.

What makes people translate their thoughts and feelings into action? With hate crimes against asylum seekers on the rise across Europe, this question has become increasingly relevant today. C-REX affiliate scholar Iris Segers argues that we need to look more closely at protesting communities, and engage with their stories, in order to understand what drives mobilization against asylum seekers across Western Europe.

As the volume of research on terrorism and far-right extremism (FRE) grows, so too does a corresponding recognition for a need to pay greater attention to research methodology, especially as this applies to participant interviews.

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.

Conspiracy theories have been crucial in the radicalization process of the perpetrator of the Hanau-attack in Germany. Terje Emberland suggests that they were not only important on a political level but also, and perhaps most importantly, on a personal level – as they can help explain why individuals decide to engage in political violence.

Every month, Right Now! publishes the book reviews that have appeared in the latest volume of E-Extreme the newsletter of the ECPR Standing Group on Extremism & Democracy. In this post, C-REX affiliate Tamta Gelashvili discusses Cas Mudde's latest volume The Far Right Today. 


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.  

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.



Welcome to the “RightNow!” blog where you will find commentary, analysis and reflection by C-REX’s researchers and affiliates on topics related to contemporary far right politics, including party politics, subcultural trends, militancy, violence, and terrorism.

“RightNow!” also provides a platform for republishing op-eds by our core team of experts (with due acknowledgement of course) which have been published by newspapers and on other blogs in order to further highlight the breadth of our work here at C-REX. The articles give the views of the authors, not the position of the Centre for Research on Extremism.

To submit proposals and comments, contact the RightNow! editor Nathaniël Kunkeler.