Page 1

Electronic Newsletter of the ECPR-SG on Extremism and Democracy

e-Extreme

March 2012 Volume 13 Number 1


e-Extreme

Volume 13, No. 1, March 2012

Managing Editor Mark Pitchford King’s College, London Email: mark.pitchford@kcl.ac.uk Co-editors Sarah de Lange University of Amsterdam, Netherlands Email: s.l.delange@uva.nl Elisabeth Carter Keele University, UK Email: e.carter@keele.ac.uk

The e-Extreme is the newsletter of the ECPR Standing Group on Extremism and Democracy and is published quarterly. For any enquiries about the newsletter, please contact the managing editor, Mark Pitchford. For inquiries regarding book reviews please contact Elisabeth Carter. Copyright Š 2012 by the ECPR Standing Group on Extremism and Democracy All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, in any form or by any means, electronic, photocopying, or otherwise, without permission in writing from the ECPR Standing Group on Extremism and Democracy.

2|Page


e-Extreme

Volume 13, No. 1, March 2012

Table of Contents

Standing Group Announcements ……………………………………………………………. 4 Book Reviews .……………………………………………………………………………………. 5 Publications Alerts ……………………………………………………………………............ 10

3|Page


e-Extreme

Volume 13, No. 1, March 2012

Standing Group Announcements

Visit the website Please do visit our website for details of forthcoming conferences and workshops: www.extremism-and-democracy.com Also, remember that the website contains a database which enables members to browse and search for other members by research interests, as well as by name. If you would like to update your own details please just email us at: info@extremism-and-democracy.com Please also do encourage colleagues and PhD students to join the Standing Group.

Keep us informed! Please keep us informed of any upcoming conferences or workshops you are organizing, and of any publication or funding opportunities that would be of interest to Standing Group members. We will post all details on our website. Similarly, if you would like to write a report on a conference or workshop that you have organized and have this included in our newsletter, please do let us know. Please also tell us of any recent publications of interest to Standing Group members so that we may include them in the ‘publications alert’ section of our newsletter, and please get in touch if you would like to see a particular book (including your own) reviewed in e-Extreme, or if you would like to review a specific book yourself. Finally, if you would like to get involved in the production of the newsletter, the development of our website, or any of the other activities of the Standing Group then please do contact us. We are always very keen to involve more members in the running of the Standing Group! Email us at: info@extremism-and-democracy.com

4|Page


e-Extreme

Volume 13, No. 1, March 2012

Book Reviews New British Fascism: Rise of the British National Party By Matthew J. Goodwin (London and New York: Routledge, 2011), 235 p., ISBN 978-0-41546501-4 Reviewed by Grant Buckles

Emory University Rigorous case studies of extreme right parties, if done well, should obviously explore the political context and historical specifics behind a particular case. Yet they should also point to more general explanations about how an extreme right party in any national context emerges, develops, and attempts to consolidate political support. Matthew Goodwin’s New British Fascism: Rise of the British National Party provides such an in-depth look into the growth and development of the BNP. Unlike many case studies, which are structured around a narrow theoretical and methodological framework, Goodwin employs a comprehensive approach that can be applied to both cross-case comparisons and case studies of other extreme right parties. The BNP is unique in many ways and it is important to acknowledge the book’s significant contribution to the substantive literature on the BNP. However, it is also worth acknowledging the theoretical advancements made by Goodwin, which consider the complex, multi-level factors leading to support for the BNP. The book rightfully considers the importance of both supply-side and demand-side factors, in addition to the historical and contextual specifics of the British system, in explaining the rise of the BNP. In many ways, the BNP is a “least-likely case” and it is therefore highly informative, since it reveals how extreme right parties can consolidate support even in the most unfavourable of historical and institutional circumstances. Goodwin describes how historical factors have been a significant impediment for the British extreme right, since the postwar electorate had little appetite for the blatantly racist, anti-Semitic, and anti-democratic appeals of the “old” extreme right. The book traces the BNP’s roots back to the pre-war British Union of Fascists and the second-wave National Front, both of which had little electoral success and merely solidified the public’s general opposition to the extreme right. However, the BNP, especially under the leadership of Nick Griffin, learned from the mistakes of its predecessors and ultimately pursued a more successful strategy of community-based organizing and a more modernized platform. From this historical context, Goodwin provides a comprehensive analysis of both supply- and demand-side changes that have contributed to increases in support for the BNP. Like many other studies of the electoral performance of extreme right parties, Goodwin explores the social profile of BNP voters. While it is important to understand who votes for extreme right parties, such an approach does not explain how electoral demand is actually converted into electoral success. Here, Goodwin provides an insightful look into the specific supply-side strategies that the BNP has employed to generate electoral support. The BNP has developed a more salient frame that targets the growing number of voters who are opposed to immigration and heavily dissatisfied with the political system. The BNP has been hampered by its inability to establish reliable funding channels and a well-trained network of activists, but its ideological position has allowed it to capitalize on the political opportunities offered by the prevalence of anti-immigration, anti-establishment opinions among particular sectors of the population. The book offers an informative macro-level analysis of who votes for the BNP and how the party has taken advantage of a favourable situation, but Goodwin also builds upon valuable

5|Page


e-Extreme

Volume 13, No. 1, March 2012

qualitative interviews to investigate the specific reasons why people become active in the BNP. These interviews reveal important insights about BNP members that could not be surmised from a purely macro-level framework. Through these interviews, Goodwin uncovers different types of BNP members (the activist old guard, political wanderers, and new recruits), the initial motivations for people joining the BNP, and the reasons why members make long-term, invested commitments to the party. The interviews show that there are various reasons why members become involved in the BNP, but most members become active in order to protect themselves and their wider group from the perceived threats posed by immigrants and cultural “out-groups.” In turn, the BNP cultivates loyalty by emphasizing the severity and urgency of the immigration problem, while persuading its members that they have a moral obligation or cultural duty to become active in the party. Goodwin’s book is an essential examination of the evolution of the BNP and the reasons behind its political successes and failures. In such an intensive case study of one political party, it would be easy to delve into the historical uniqueness of the case without contributing to the comparative study of extreme right parties. However, Goodwin’s theoretical and methodological framework is a rigorous model that could be applied to case studies of other political parties. His approach combines both supply- and demand-side explanations of electoral performance, coupled with contextual and individual-level examinations of the party’s specific situation. Goodwin’s mixed-methods approach is extremely appropriate for this case study. He employs statistical tests to analyze the macrolevel “demand” for the party and supplements his findings with qualitative interviews, which delve into the micro-processes through which individuals become committed to the BNP. Goodwin makes a valuable contribution to the literature by providing a detailed analysis of the BNP, while pointing to future avenues of research on extreme right parties in Europe.

Populist Seduction in Latin America (Second Edition) By Carlos de la Torre (Athens: Ohio University Press, 2010), 259 p., ISBN 978-0-89680-2797 Reviewed by Matthijs Rooduijn

University of Amsterdam Various authors have argued that the main area of populist success in the last few decades has been Western Europe, where parties such as the Front National in France, the Freiheitliche Partei Österreichs in Austria, the Vlaams Belang in Belgium and the Partij voor de Vrijheid in the Netherlands have had important electoral successes. Yet populism has been on the rise in other parts of the world as well. In fact, one might even argue that populism in Latin America is even more prevalent and successful than it is in Western Europe, as many populist leaders in this part of the world have actually gained office. It is therefore important to understand what populists in Latin America share with each other and how they have been able to become so successful. In his book Populist Seduction in Latin America (Second Edition), Carlos de la Torre focuses on these questions. De la Torre sets out with a case study of the ‘classical’ Ecuadorian populist leader José María Velasco Ibarra. He eloquently describes how, in the mid-1940s, Velasco Ibarra managed to seduce large parts of the public by pitting el pueblo (the people) against la oligarquía (the oligarchy). Half a century later, another populist politician seduced the Ecuadorian people: Abdalà Bucaram. Although Bucaram’s ideological position differed

6|Page


e-Extreme

Volume 13, No. 1, March 2012

from that of Velasco Ibarra, De la Torre persuasively shows that his populist rhetoric of venerating the people and bashing the elite was very similar. De la Torre describes Bucaram as a ‘neopopulist’ politician. Just like Fujimori in Peru and Menem in Argentina, he combined a populist discourse with a neoliberal ideology. More recently, the Ecuadorian populist Correa employed a similar discourse. Yet, like other contemporary ‘radical’ populists in Latin America (e.g., Chávez in Venezuela and Morales in Bolivia), he combined this discourse not with a neoliberal, but with a socialist ideology. De la Torre powerfully describes what makes these politicians populist. But what makes the book particularly interesting is that throughout all the analyses, De la Torre manages to demonstrate the tension which exists between populism and liberal democracy. On the one hand, populists want the people to be sovereign and to rule themselves (either via participatory democracy or via a strong leader who embodies the will of the people). In this sense they are strongly democratic. On the other hand, populists despise representative institutions with all their checks and balances and their safeguarding of minority rights. In this sense, populists are not democratic at all. De la Torre convincingly shows how this tension plays out in every single instance of either classical, neo-, or radical populism. In this book, De la Torre certainly achieves his aim of understanding Ecuadorian populism in a comparative perspective. He focuses on Ecuadorian populist leaders – Velasco Ibarra, Bucalam and Correa – and compares them to other populists in Latin America, such as Perón and Menem in Argentina, Chávez in Venezuela, and Morales in Bolivia. Whether the discussions and findings have a wider generalizability (beyond the Ecuadorian case) are open to question, however, not least because while De la Torre does not analyze Latin American populism in general (even though the book’s title would lead us to presume otherwise), he nonetheless seems happy to generalize to the wider level. This is problematic because features that hold for Latin America might not be true for other parts of the world. For example, I doubt whether charismatic leadership – an aspect of populism that De La Torre strongly emphasizes – is a necessarily feature of populism. Some classical political movements beyond the Latin American context (for instance the United States People’s Party and the Russian Narodniki) had no charismatic and strong leaders at all. In spite of the reservations surrounding its wider generalizability, as a study of Ecuadorian populism in a comparative perspective, this book is an absolute must. It shows us how the conceptualization of populism as a discursive concept can help us understand the emergence, rise and behaviour of politicians such as Velasco Ibarra, Bucaram and Correa. This is not only fascinating for those interested in Ecuador and/or Latin America, but it is also of great help to scholars who focus on populism in other parts of the world.

The Re-invention of the European Radical Right: Populism, Regionalism, and the Italian Lega Nord By Andrej Zaslove (Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2011), 320 p., ISBN 978-0-773-53851-1 Reviewed by Dwayne Woods

Purdue University Novelty breeds curiosity. In the early 1990s, the Lega Nord (Northern League) had been in existence for nearly a decade but had attracted little academic attention. The role it played

7|Page


e-Extreme

Volume 13, No. 1, March 2012

in the collapse of Italy’s post-war party system and of the linchpin of that system, the Christian Democratic party, catapulted it to power and laid the basis for an emergent academic “cottage industry” on the Northern League. There is now a huge literature that has emerged from that industry, which looks at the political movement from every angle. There have been descriptive studies that cover its origins, its evolution, its tactical and strategic changes, its leader – Umberto Bossi – its militants (both active and passive), and its socio-cultural setting. There have been other studies that have focused on situating the Northern League in a comparative context. These studies have sought to specify the ideological profile of the Northern League and to determine which ideological and political family it belongs to. From these latter studies a general consensus has emerged: largely because of its regionalist identity politics, the Northern League is a populist political phenomenon anchored on the right. Moreover, there is agreement that the Northern League belongs to a larger family of radical right populist parties that have sprung up across Western Europe over the last three to four decades. With all this accumulated descriptive and analytical knowledge of the Northern League, any new monograph faces the proverbial question: what is left to say? Andrej Zaslove’s recently published - The Re-Invention of the European Radical Right: Populism, Regionalism, and the Italian Lega Nord – does not escape this question. The author is well aware that much has been written on the subject and, in fact, the book draws on a significant portion of the vast secondary literature on the Northern League. Unfortunately, the author does not convincingly articulate what is new in his study. His claim that “previous studies have situated the party exclusively as a regionalist, a populist, or a radical right populist party" and not a combination of all three is not persuasive. He adds that “the Lega combines regionalism with radical right populism and that it shares characteristics with other radical right populist parties.” While this is a worthy thesis, there is not much new about it. Other studies have viewed the Northern League as a radical right party with a regionalist populist orientation. Other studies have analytically compared the League with the Freedom Party in Austria, the radical right party in Denmark and the National Front in France. This is a shame because, had the author more systematically developed his broader thesis that the rise of radical right populist parties are “part of a phenomenon unfolding across Western Europe as part of dramatic change to post-Second World War politics," then the book would be a major contribution to the literature on the Northern League and radical right populism. Zaslove, however, does not engage in this kind of systematic comparative analysis. He elaborates slightly on an already-developed analytical framework without exploiting its explanatory potential comparatively. In other words, while it is helpful to elaborate on the evolution and changes in the Northern League’s ideology and its convergence with other radical right populist parties, the book would have been more innovative and insightful has the author undertaken a broader comparative analysis of radical right populist parties or, at least, a paired analysis of the phenomenon. Instead he outlines a conceptual apparatus that specifies certain core elements of radical right populism. These core elements serve as the basis for a classification schema in which the Northern League is situated. Without a broader comparative analysis, however, we essentially have a descriptive history of the Northern League that provides us with information that has already been amply highlighted. My critical observations should not lead the reader to the conclusion that I think the book has no merits. It does. Let me highlight a few of them. First, Zaslove does a good job in articulating and synthesizing the conceptual model of radical right populist parties and how

8|Page


e-Extreme

Volume 13, No. 1, March 2012

their emergence have affected post-war Western Europe party systems. Although he did not innovate on the analytical model or classificatory schema, he provides the reader with a good understanding of it. Secondly, the book brings together in a streamlined fashion much of the accumulated knowledge that we have on the development and changes of the Northern League since the early 1990s. In doing so, his book will quickly become the go-to text for readers interested in the Northern League. This includes the League’s role in contributing to the collapse of the Christian Democratic party’s hegemony; its rather rapid insertion as a political actor in large parts of North eastern Italy; its ideological anchoring as a radical right regionalist populist party; its tactical and, at times, confusing relationship with Berlusconi; and finally, how its entry into government has affected its “radical populism.” The final point is covered in Chapters 7 and 8 which offer some noteworthy insights into the dilemmas that radical right populist parties face when they enter into government. Zaslove contrasts two views on the fate of radical right parties when they assume governmental responsibility. Heinisch, for example, argues that populist parties lose their radical populist anchoring and “mutate into ordinary right-of-centre parties,” while Albertazzi and McDonnell claim that the Northern League, more or less, succeeded in “balancing political power with its populist identity.” On this, Zaslove tends to side with Albertazzi and McDonnell. However, he recognizes the tension the party faced in trying to maintain its radical bona fide and assuming its government responsibilities as part of a center-right coalition in Italy. His thesis is that the League was able to exploit a number of opportunity structures that were not present in other countries in which radical right parties entered government. In this respect, he is capturing some of the variation of radical right populist parties across Western Europe. Obviously, national context accounts for a good part of this variation and Chapter 7 (which essentially focuses on the period between 2001 and 2006) does a good job in detailing the Italian context. Zaslove explains that the opportunity structures that enabled the Northern League to succeed in being part of government and in keeping to its radical populist roots were not eternal. Indeed, the League’s more recent period in office has been characterized by an uneasy tension between it behaving like a traditional party concerned with the “trappings” and “privileges” of power on the one hand, and maintaining its populist ideological position against Rome, corrupt politicians, and taxes and its demand for more autonomy for the north on the other. On this score, the Northern League has not fared any better than other radical populist parties. In fact, recent corruption scandals involving Northern League officials suggest that the party mutated into a typical Italian party. As the title to Chapter 8 (“Is their Bark Worse than their Bite? Public Policy and the Lega Nord in Government”) suggests, the Northern League’s policy initiatives generally fell short of the party’s radical proclamations and none of the “core” radical objectives of the Northern League has been achieved. Zaslove sums up the Northern League effect on policy well: “in the end, the Lega did influence public policy, but its influence was mediated by, and contingent on, alliances within the coalition.” In summary, The Reinvention of the European Radical Right contributes to the literature by providing useful, detailed information on the Northern League and by placing the party within an analytical comparative framework through which the party and other radical right populist parties can be understood. In this respect, Zaslove has written an effective reference source for those interested in the sui generis aspects of the Northern League and for those interested in the larger political and ideological family to which the Northern League belongs.

9|Page


e-Extreme

Volume 13, No. 1, March 2012

Publications Alert

Baer, H. (2012) Das Boot and the German Cinema of Neoliberalism. German Quarterly, 85, 18-39. Battisti, D. (2012) The American Committee on Italian Migration, Anti-Communism, and Immigration Reform. Journal of American Ethnic History, 31, 11-40. Bielewska, A. (2012) National identities of Poles in Manchester: Modern and postmodern geographies. Ethnicities, 12, 86-105. Brewster, Z. W. (2012) Racialized Customer Service in Restaurants: A Quantitative Assessment of the Statistical Discrimination Explanatory Framework. Sociological Inquiry, 82, 3-28. Burke, S. & Goodman, S. (2012) 'Bring back Hitler's gas chambers': Asylum seeking, Nazis and Facebook - a discursive analysis. Discourse & Society, 23, 19-33. Caiani, M., della Porta, D. & Wagemann, C. (2012) Mobilizing on the Extreme Right: Germany, Italy, and the United States, New York: Oxford University Press. Carter, D. B. (2012) A Blessing or a Curse? State Support for Terrorist Groups. International Organization, 66, 129-151. Cohen-Almagor, R. (2011) Fighting Hate and Bigotry on the Internet, Policy and Internet, 3(3): Art. 6. Cross, M. K. D. (2012) Identity Politics and European Integration. Comparative Politics, 44, 229-246. de Zavala, A. G. & Cichocka, A. (2012) Collective narcissism and anti-Semitism in Poland. Group Processes & Intergroup Relations, 15, 213-229. Fekete, L. (2012) The Muslim conspiracy theory and the Oslo massacre. Race & Class, 53, 30-47. Fiske, S. T. (2012) Managing Ambivalent Prejudices: Smart-but-Cold and Warm-but-Dumb Stereotypes. Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 639, 33-48. Fligstein, N., Polyakova, A. & Sandholtz, W. (2012) European Integration, Nationalism and European Identity. Journal of Common Market Studies, 50, 106-122. Ford, R., Goodwin, M. J. & Cutts, D. (2012) Strategic Eurosceptics and polite xenophobes: Support for the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) in the 2009 European Parliament elections. European Journal of Political Research, 51, 204-234. Goodnow, R. & Moser, R. G. (2012) Layers of Ethnicity: The Effects of Ethnic Federalism, Majority-Minority Districts, and Minority Concentration on the Electoral Success of Ethnic Minorities in Russia. Comparative Political Studies, 45, 167-193. Hall, J. C., Everett, J. E. & Hamilton-Mason, J. (2012) Black Women Talk About Workplace Stress and How They Cope. Journal of Black Studies, 43, 207-226. Hermet, G. (2012) Continuity and change of populism. Critique, 68, 62-74. Hirschi, C. & Widmer, T. (2012) Approaches and challenges in evaluating measures taken against right-wing extremism. Evaluation and Program Planning, 35, 171-179. Hughey, M. W. (2012) Black Guys and White Guise: The Discursive Construction of White Masculinity. Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, 41, 95-124. Krishnakumar, J. & Muller, T. (2012) The political economy of immigration in a direct democracy: The case of Switzerland. European Economic Review, 56, 174-189. Kuhn, T. (2012) Europa ante portas: Border residence, transnational interaction and Euroscepticism in Germany and France. European Union Politics, 13, 94-117. Leca, J. (2012) Justice for foxes! How pluralism can help us understand the populism. Critique, 68, 85-95. Lockenour, J. (2012) Black and White Memories of War: Victimization and Violence in West

10 | P a g e


e-Extreme

Volume 13, No. 1, March 2012

German War Films of the 1950s. Journal of Military History, 76, 159-191. Matlin, D. (2012) Social Movements and Radicalism in Post-War American History. Historical Journal, 55, 263-275. Mayer, N. (2012) Is populism fatal? Critique, 68, 141-149. McCrone, D. (2012) Scotland Out the Union? The Rise and Rise of the Nationalist Agenda. Political Quarterly, 83, 69-76. McKiernan-Gonzalez, J. (2012) The Woman in the Zoot Suit: Gender, Nationalism, and the Cultural Politics of Memory. Journal of American Ethnic History, 31, 139-140. Meizoz, J. (2012) Nationalist kitsch and law of the market: the two breasts of Swiss populism. Critique, 68, 129-140. Miller-Idrissn, C. & Rothenbergnn, B. (2012) Ambivalence, pride and shame: conceptualisations of German nationhood. Nations and Nationalism, 18, 132-155. Mutlu, D. K. & Kocer, Z. (2012) A different story of secularism: The censorship of religion in Turkish films of the 1960s and early 1970s. European Journal of Cultural Studies, 15, 70-88. Pehrson, S., Gheorghiu, M. A. & Ireland, T. (2012) Cultural Threat and Anti-immigrant Prejudice: The Case of Protestants in Northern Ireland. Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology, 22, 111-124. Potrafke, N. (2012) Islam and democracy. Public Choice, 151, 185-192. Robinson, W. I. & Barrera, M. (2012) Global capitalism and twenty-first century fascism: a US case study. Race & Class, 53, 4-29. Rowley, D. G. (2012) Giuseppe Mazzini and the democratic logic of nationalism. Nations and Nationalism, 18, 39-56. Sinka, M. (2012) Nostalgia after Nazism: History, Home, and Affect in German and Austrian Literature and Film. German Quarterly, 85, 99-101. Thronson, D. B. & Sullivan, J. F. P. (2012) Family Courts and Immigration Status. Juvenile and Family Court Journal, 63, 1-18. Thronson, V. T. (2012) Domestic Violence and Immigrants in Family Court. Juvenile and Family Court Journal, 63, 63-76. Van Hiel, A. (2012) A psycho-political profile of party activists and left-wing and right-wing extremists. European Journal of Political Research, 51, 166-203. Wilkins, A. (2012) "Not Out to Start a Revolution": Race, Gender, and Emotional Restraint among Black University Men. Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, 41, 34-65.

ECPR Standing Group on Extremism and Democracy Convenors: David Art (David.Art@tufts.edu); Elisabeth Carter (e.carter@keele.ac.uk)

11 | P a g e

eExtreme - March 2012  

Volume 13, No. 1

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you