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Right-wing extremism, radicalism and

populism in Europe and the US


Prof. Caterina Froio
caterina.froio@eui.eu
Far Right varieties in Europe and the US

Parties & Representatives

Movements

«Subcultural» organizations
The ECPR Standing Group on
‘Extremism and Democracy’
http://extremism-and-democracy.com/
On Facebook: follow the groups
‘‘Extremism & Democracy’’, “On
Academic updates Populism”
on the topic…
News from the leading research center
in Europe: C-REX (University of Oslo)
http://www.sv.uio.no/c-rex/english/
Today’s schedule
• Presentations
• The course: aims, structure & logistics
• Questions & Concerns

Session 1- Defining the Far Right: from historical fascism to populist radical right
parties
• Von Beyme Klaus (1988) Right wing extremism in Post-war Europe. West
European Politics, 11: 2.
• Mudde Cas (2007)Populist Radical Right Parties in Europe. Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press, chapter 1.
• Griffin Roger (2016) Interregnum or endgame? The radical right in the
‘post-fascist’ era. In Mudde Cas (ed.) The Populist Radical Right. A Reader.
London and New York: Routldge, Chapter 1.
Presentation
Fields of interest for research and supervision :
Right wing extremism, radicalism & populism, contentious politics, e-
politics, EU politics, political parties

Reference letters policy:


With pleasure, but only after the final exam

Office hours:
Wednesday, 16.30 -17.30 (email before) @ESPOL

Why are you taking this class? There will be a lot to read…
The course: (I) Aim
• In depth analysis of main concepts (no journalism, no sensationalism)
• Conceptual and methodological skills to confront with academic material
• Explore the dynamics of far right mobilization in Europe and the US, with a
particular focus on populist and anti-establishment politics
• Theories explaining individual and contextual conditions facilitating (and
inhibiting) far right mobilization and political success.
• Comparing and synthesizing different theories, critically assessing the merits
of theoretical and empirical studies, posing new research questions and
deducing testable hypotheses
• Identify relevant sources (avoid fake news!)
• Everything is on the Moodle, be sure that you can access it!
The course : (II) Structure

Section 1: The Far Right: history, definitions and issues

1. Defining the Far Right: from historical fascism to populist radical right
parties in Europe
2. History of the Far Right in the US
3. Contemporary Far Right (Populist) Politics. : Political Parties & Social
Movements
4. The content of Far Right discourses: economic and ‘civilizational’
concerns
5. United against the European Union?
The course : (III) Structure

Section 2. The politics of the Far Right

6. Why are they here? Explanatory models of far right populist


emergence and developments
7. Internet and the far right
8. Gendering the far right: female leaders for male voters?
9. The Far right and democracy in perspective: much ado about nothing?
Conclusive remarks
The course: (IV) Logistics-
preparation of the class

Classes are about critical engagement


• Read all the texts before the class

Structure of the class


Lecture and introduction of the compulsory
readings by me
Questions and collective debate
The course: (V) Logistics- class preparation
For each session:
Books chapters (books are in the library)
Academic articles indicated in the syllabus (moodle & google scholar, no paper reader)

Baselines of the course:


Compulsory readings (articles on the moodle + chapters’ selection from both):

• Cas Mudde (ed.) (2016) The Populist Radical Right: A Reader. Abingdon/New York,
Routledge.
• Parker S. Christopher and Barreto A. Matt (2013) Change They can’t believe in. The Tea
Party and Reactionary Politics in America. New Jersey: Princeton University Press.

Optional readings:
Refer to the syllabus
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The course: (VI) Logistics-Method for the evaluation

The course grade consists of a final take-home exercise to be submitted on


Friday 13 April before midnight

On the moodle


ONLY FOR international students by email to ELISE MILLOIS
elise.millois@univ-catholille.fr (not to the professor!)

Late submission will not be graded


The course: (VI) Logistics-Method for the evaluation

The final take-home essay

• Imagine that you have to write an academic paper on a topic selected from the
syllabus.
• You do not have to write an essay, but to prepare its skeleton (maximum 2200
words, spaces, footnotes, and references excluded, font 12)
• This document shall include 5 sections:
The course: (VI) Logistics-Method for the evaluation
The final take-home essay

• Research question. Identify a research question and its relevance. Describe what do you want to study and
why. What is your research question? Why is the question interesting/relevant (use class material and
references to ongoing events to justify it)? [Max. 500 words]

• Expectations. You should state what you intend to prove through your research. It should state your focus.
Good expectations may help you to focus your investigation (when you make research you will notice that
more and more information comes out. Expectations will keep you from losing your focus, i.e. from « losing
the forest for the trees ». [Max. 200 words]

• Data selection. Explain how you are planning to answer to this question empirically. Identify online and/or
offline data and sources that you will need to address your research question. Data may be interviews,
existing datasets, secondary literature etc. For each source, you should prepare a very short (2-5 lines max)
summary of its relevance for your study. [Max. 400 words]

• Research design. Present your research design (cases studied -organizations & places- and how do you study
them: comparing differences and/or similarities, overtime or cross-sectional) [Max. 500 words]

• Annotated bibliography. Write an annotated bibliography. The annotated bibliography will include a very short
(2-5 lines max) summary of each source and its relevance for your paper. [Max. 600 words]
The course: (VI) Logistics-Method for the evaluation

Two important tools to prepare the final essay (available on the moodle,
http://icampus.univ-catholille.fr ):

1- The ppt on «How to write a research paper proposal»


2- See examples from previous years
The course: (VII) Logistics- attendance, late arrivals
and plagiarism

• Attendance is expected: if you miss more than two courses, it is hard


to follow
• Students must be on time
• Plagiarism means failing the course
• Plagiarism is checked automatically by a software

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The course: (VII) Logistics- Availability,
Appointments

• Come and talk to me after class // At the end of each session, I leave 5
minutes for this

• Office hours: Wednesday, 16.30 -17.30 (email before) @ESPOL

• Questions & Concerns?


BREAK 10 MINUTES
S1. Defining the Far Right: from historical fascism to
populist radical right parties in Europe
Outline

a) The ‘war of words’ : avoid essentialization!


b) Far right, radical right, extreme right : pears and apples
c) Anything common? Core ideological features
d) What is far right and what is not
S1. Defining the Far Right: from historical fascism to
populist radical right parties in Europe

a) The ‘war of words’ : avoid essentialization!

• The war of words allows to prevent essentialization


[Essentialism is the view that, for any specific entity (such as an animal, a group of people, a
physical object, a concept), there is a set of attributes which are necessary to its identity and
function]

• 27 different definitions of what is the far right (Mudde 1996)

• Something in common? The concept of the RIGHT, but not in the classic
economic understanding (state/market orientation)
S1. Defining the Far Right: from
historical fascism to populist
radical right parties in Europe

b) Far right, radical right, extreme right : pears and


apples

• Left-Right distinction, in terms of propensity to


egalitarianism (Bobbio 1994):
-Left= inequalities are created by society and
they can and should be changed by the state
-Right= nature has created inequalities and
it is not up to the state to overcome those
b) Far right, radical right, extreme right : pears
and apples
S1. Defining
the Far Right: • RIGHT= ANTI EGALITARIAN
from historical • FAR RIGHT= EXTREME & RADICAL RIGHT
fascism to • EXTREME RIGHT= ANTIDEMOCRATIC
• RADICAL RIGHT= ANTI-LIBERAL DEMOCRATIC
populist radical
right parties in • Core ideological features of the far right=
Europe nativism, authoritarianism and populism
S1. Defining the Far Right: from historical fascism to
populist radical right parties in Europe
c) Anything common? Core ideological features of the far right

• Nativism: an ideology holding that states should be inhabited only by


members of the native group (« the nation »), and that non-native
elements (persons and ideas) are a threat for the homogeneous nation-
state (Mudde 2007)
• Authoritarianism: a belief in a strictly ordered society. A disposition to
glorify and remain uncritical toward authoritative figures of the ingroup
(« us ») and to take an attitude of punishing outgroup figures
(« them ») in the name of some moral authority (Adorno et al. 1969)
• Populism is found also on the far right but it is not an ideological
feature…
S1. Defining the Far Right: from historical fascism to
populist radical right parties in Europe
c) Anything common? Core ideological features of the far right

• Populism: a set of ideas considering society to be divided in two groups: the


‘good people’ and the ‘corrupted elite’ arguing that politics should result
from the general will of the people (Canovan 1981,1999; Taggart 2000; Meny
and Surel 2002).
• It relies on two elements: the moral distinction between the people and the
elite, and the idea that politics is about respecting popular sovereignty.
S1. Defining the Far Right: from historical fascism
to populist radical right parties in Europe
c) Anything common? Core ideological features of the far right

• Populism = not a normative category! (good/bad, see Mudde and


Kaltwasser 2012)
• Populism may exist both on the left and on the right
• ‘the people’ are defined on the basis of the core ideology of a party
considered
S1. Defining the Far Right: from historical fascism to
populist radical right parties in Europe
c) Anything common? Core ideological features of the far right

• Populism can be paired with very different host ideologies defining who the
people are and why elites would deserve to be blamed
 nativism (on the far right) or different forms of socialism (on the far left)
(Mudde and Kaltwasser 2017)

• Populism encompasses a vertical and a horizontal opposition (Laclau 2005,


2006; Mouffe 2000).
Vertically : populists construct ‘the people’ in opposition to the ‘elite’ and
claim to represent the people
Horizontally: populists construct ‘the people’ in opposition to ‘other
people’ that are not part of the nation (Brubaker, 2017)
S1. Defining the Far Right: from historical fascism to
populist radical right parties in Europe
d) What is far right and what is not?

The far right should not be confused with other party families, in particular:

Conservatives: authoritarianism, traditionalism, religiosity and patriotism


(loyalty to the nation, that is different than exclusionary nationalism)
(Thatcher, Reagan, Bush Junior and Senior, Sarkozy, etc.)

 Regionalists: they strive for separatism, and not for a mono-cultural nation-
state. They call for more autonomy of a region within a larger state structure (
Vlaams Blok/Vlaams Belang, ex Northern League, etc.) and hence accept
multinational states
Thank you for your attention

NB: All references are available in the ‘compulsory readings’ for Session 1