In recent years, the issues of resurging xenophobia, expansion of far right (including right extremism and populism) have come to dominate political debates in Europe and beyond. Consequently, the subject of far right has attracted attention from scholars from different disciplines, who have considered its relation with European integration, economic crisis, migration, and who have highlighted the context of globalization as a source of discontent and new forms of action. While existing studies mostly reflect the variety of the extreme right scene, they also make evident some common patterns characterizing far-right actors, namely anti-establishment rhetoric, anti-liberalism, anti-pluralism, xenophobia (anti-Islamism and/or anti-Semitism), to name but some. Similarly, while being attentive to the historical specificities, an increasing number of scholars encouraged a reflection on the analogies between the current “crisis of democracy” and the events and break down of (half) democracies in many European states during the 1930s.
Our conference aims at contributing to the debate on the issues of resurging xenophobia, expansion of far right (including right extremism and populism) by reflecting on the transnational dimensions of far-right activism. Drawing inspirations from the transnational history approach, we propose an analysis of complex, synchronic and diachronic, cross-territorial and cross-temporal exchanges between far right ideologies and practices, focusing on two historical periods: the 1930s and the post-1989 era. We are particularly interested in exploring:
How does the crisis of models of liberal democratic politics and economy manifest and how is it expressed? How do new, alternative models emerge?
How are legitimation discourses being construed across different movements, regions, and forms of activism?
What are the platforms of cooperation between different far-right actors? What role new media have played in the process of internationalization?
How does the broadly understood language of far right reflect mutual influences and connections (or lack thereof)?
How does the idea of “Europe” feature in the far-right discourse? How do the processes of “Europeanization” relate to the far-right transnational activism?
Peter Becker, Institute for History of the University of Vienna
Gerhard Botz, Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Historical Social Science, University of Vienna
Agnieszka Pasieka, Institute for East European History of the University of Vienna
Philipp Ther, Institute for East European History of the University of Vienna