This section includes book notes of 150-300 words as well as some book reviews of 600-900 words on books of particular interest to the members of our group. If you have either suggestions for books you would like to review or see reviewed (including recent books of your own), please contact Cas Mudde.
Book Notes Roger Eatwell and Cas Mudde (eds.), Western Democracies and the New Extreme Right Challenge, London: Routledge, 2004, 216 pp., GBP 65.00, ISBN 04-1536-9711 (hbk). Reviewed by Lee McGowan (Queen’s University Belfast) This book handles an increasingly salient area for students of politics, namely the persistence and advances of the extreme right across Europe and the US over the last two decades. It is structured with three main pertinent research questions in mind, which focus on conceptions of democracy, the forms of the new extremism in Europe and the US, and, particularly, how democracies are responding to the augmenting trend of such extremist movements. This edited work of eight chapters is very well written and the material covered is highly informative. The work, following an excellent introduction into issues of terminology (very useful for students), has been divided into two main parts. In the first, attention is given mainly to the rise of extremism in both England and the US, with coverage given also to the changing discourse over the years in selected continental European states. Although these chapters provide welcome overviews of current developments, especially the one focusing on the BNP and its ‘modernisation’ agenda, and another one giving historical insights into the inter-war period, the distinctiveness of this volume is located within the final four chapters that centre on the role and response of the wider society to right-wing extremist movements. This raises some crucial questions: How should the extreme right be dealt with? Are bans effective or do they simply contribute to the creation of more militant organisations? Should anti-democratic forces be allowed the same rights as other groups and parties? More worryingly, has a window of opportunity opened for populist groups and slogans that appeal more to the average voter than the established political parties do? In short, a highly valuable book for students of political extremism.
Oliver Geden, Männlichkeitskonstruktionen in der Freiheitlichen Partei Österreichs. Eine qualitativ-empirische Untersuchung, Opladen: Leske + Budrich, 2004, 133 pp., 14.90 EUR, ISBN 3-8100-4100-9 (pbk). Reviewed by Andreas Klärner (Hamburg Institute for Social Research) Up to now, there is hardly any qualitative research being done on right-wing extremist organizations. We don’t have much scientific knowledge about the daily routines of