Hello and welcome to our blog! If you want to know more about the impact of globalization on the rise of far-right parties, stand still, you are at the right place.
In this blog, we will each write a post on the correlation between globalization and the rise of far-right parties in Western Europe. Throughout this blog, globalization will be understood as “the increasingly fluid and borderless movement of people, ideas, information, and capital that position the global and local as mutually interdependent”. This blog will embrace a narrowing approach, by first investigating the topic from a historical perspective and finally examining today’s state of play in individual countries. Overall, the blog aims to assess the relevance of the blame against globalization in explaining the rise of the far-right in Europe.
In her recent literature review, Charlène examined the rise of Italian neo-fascist groups in the 1960s and 1970s and explained how Italy went through a social revolution in the aftermath of World War II, with people willing to embrace a new political ideology amidst the emergence of a new society. This marked the outset of the development of radical neofascist groups in Italy, but also across Europe. Charlène’s blog post touches upon the background of the radical right in Europe, and how globalization, which was then at its early stages, favoured the rise of the far-right.
Julien’s recent literature review took a closer look at the impact of globalization on the rise of far-right parties. While doing his research, he realized that in recent years, far-right parties increasingly attracted working-class voters by combining left-leaning economic stances with strong positions on immigration. Julien’s blog post includes his previous findings and adds new elements to shed light on recent political developments that occurred in Western Europe. Furthermore, he assesses the role of globalization – understood as the interplay between economic modernization and immigration – on the evolution of voting patterns in Western Europe, with a particular emphasis on France.
Kilian takes a closer look at the case of the AfD. As a rather recent development within the spectrum of the far-right, the success of the AfD raises many questions. In a nutshell: why has Germany seemed to be a dead-end for the far-right for so many years? What has changed? Who constitutes the electorate of the AfD? With regards to the latter question, by using the AfD as a case study, Kilian assesses the relevance of the thesis according to which ‘losers of globalization’ vote for the far right. Before that, he also investigates the causes for the initial success of the AFD.
Vincent recently wrote a literature review on the PEGIDA movement in Germany. He thoroughly assessed different rationale trying to explain the sudden rise of the groupuscule, such as the distrust towards the political elite, the fear of losing German identity and Islamophobia. His literature review assessed the overall existing literature on PEGIDA. For the sake of the blog, Vincent focuses on the relationship between PEGIDA protesters and globalization. A common assumption about PEGIDA protesters is that they consider themselves as ‘losers of globalization’, but is that true?
Who are we?
We are four second-year European Studies students at Maastricht University. Charlène and Julien come from the french-speaking region of Belgium, and Vincent and Kilian are from Germany. In the second period of this year, we are taking a course called Discussing Contemporary Challenges, which particularly focuses on the rise of the far-right in Europe. In the previous period, each of us wrote a literature review about an issue related to the rise of the far-right, with the objective of better understanding the underlying elements behind this major political phenomenon.
Enjoy reading our blog, and feel free to comment! We look forward to reading your thoughts and suggestions!