Far-Right Extremism in a Populist Age

In light of the rising influence of far-right populism in Europe and the USA, there are questions to be answered regarding the shifting relationship between populism and extremism, and the new dimensions at play in both the growth and the policing of crime and terrorism motivated by far-right ideologies.

Briefing Paper: Far-Right Extremism in the Populist Age
This paper has been prepared against a backdrop of ‘shifting sands’ across Europe and the United States, with fundamental realignments in national political contexts, a broadly spread hardening of attitudes towards cultural and ethnic diversity, and a sense that the far-right – both through attitudes and expressions of violent extremism and populist political movements – has assumed a visible and influential role of historic proportions. It summarises some of the recent trends and developments in the manifestation and enforcement of far-right extremism in a variety of national contexts in both Europe and the United States.

Download the briefing paper here.

International Seminar on Far-Right Extremism
On Tuesday 23 May, Demos think tank joined with the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung to host a high-level international seminar on far-right extremism in London, with a particular focus on its complex and changing relationship with the rising prominence of far-right populism.

The event was in the shadow of the Islamic terror attack in Manchester the previous evening, which provided a poignant reminder of the culture of insecurity plaguing both Europe and the United States – which profoundly influences our political environments, our social cohesion and the attitudes of citizens. All participants acknowledged that these kinds of incidents are a profoundly galvanizing force for the groups that would be a focus of the discussion, and the importance of recognising that far-right extremism is one of a multitude of radical, ideologically motivated threats our societies are facing at the present time.

Demos and FES were joined at the event by six leading experts in far-right extremism, from the United States, the UK, Germany, Poland and Hungary, who presented on new developments in far-right extremism and also social attitudes towards cultural and ethnic diversity in different international contexts:

Heidi Beirich, Southern Poverty Law Center Intelligence, USA; Bulscú Hunyadi, Political Capital Institute, Hungary; Thomas Grumke, University of Applied Science of Public Administration NRW, Germany; Rafal Pankowski, Never Again Association, Poland; Mike Whine, Community Security Trust, UK; Jamie Bartlett, Centre for the Analysis of Social Media at Demos. The event was chaired by Sophie Gaston, Head of International Projects at Demos.

A transcript and summary paper of the event can be downloaded here.

A video recording of the full event can be watched below.