Right-Wing Extremists in Europe

By Tepfenhart, Mariana | Comparative Civilizations Review, Fall 2011 | Go to article overview

Right-Wing Extremists in Europe


Tepfenhart, Mariana, Comparative Civilizations Review


Throughout world history, times of rapid change have stirred up antagonisms and paranoid views of either immigrants or minorities. We are witnessing the same phenomenon in Europe today - the latest of which spurred a Norwegian to commit mass murder in the name of his beliefs.

In the last 20 years, Europe has witnessed a surge in right-wing extremism. This trend is connected to the political dissatisfaction and loss of trust in government by a growing percentage of the population of European Union. These radical groups demand a strong but small government; they are in favor of strong nationalism and homogeneity, and express strong hostility towards asylum seekers and illegal immigrants. These groups oppose cultural pluralism and giving equal weight to the desires of the minority over the majority.

This trend is stronger in the northern parts of Western Europe like Austria, Denmark, Norway, Switzerland, Belgium, Netherlands, and Germany, but it is not limited to the West. Similar tendencies have appeared in Eastern European countries. The author of this paper presents a comparative analysis of several far-right organizations/parties in Western Europe as well as the characteristics of right-wing extremism in Eastern Europe.

The paper identifies the concerns that led to the popularity of these groups as well as the consequences for political stability and democracy in the European Union. The author examines the response of domestic institutions and external bodies, such as the European Union, and the attempt to stop or prevent the spread of these groups. To exemplify this trend, special attention is directed towards Germany and Russia.

An Intelligence Report from 2001 showed that resentment against immigrants is present across Europe. Here are some numbers to demonstrate this attitude, as revealed in an intelligence report (Southern Poverty Law Center 2001):

Austria - population 8 million

37% of Austrians would not shake hands with a Jew.

15 % of Austrians find people of different nationalities disturbing.

France - population 60 million.

27% believe that there are too many blacks in France

56% of French believe there are too many Arabs in the country.

Germany - population 82 million.

38% of Germans find the presence of people of other nationalities disturbing.

There are 75 extreme-right organizations.

Hungary - population 10 million.

70% of Hungarians believe that the Roma population is a threat to society.

Great Britain - population 60 million.

1 out of 5 Britons wants the expulsion of the immigrants.

Russia - population 145 million.

38% of Russians are anti-Semitic.

There are 37 ultranationalist publications.

There are 10 ultranationalists groups with a membership between 100-5000.

Slovakia - population 5.4 million.

60% believe that refugees carry diseases.

The Roma population is described as "mentally ill" (Former Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar).

The list goes on. Since this report was published in 2001 it is fair to assume that the number increased recently.

Scholars from different fields have attempted to offer explanations detailing why significant portions of the present day European population have embraced this rightwing extremism and why the popularity of these groups has increased in the last two or three decades. Some authors believe these groups are a backlash to the far-left parties which are supporting feminism, ethno-pluralism and minority rights. All these movements or concepts could be targets to be vilified by far-right groups in a world marked by economic instability and globalization.

Bolaffi, a professor in Rome, wrote that "Apparently, without the leftists, especially the Italian ones, there would be no skinheads, neo-Nazis, right-wing terrorists, or radical members of the parliament." (Schmidt 1993) Still, it is debatable if the farright groups are opposing left-wing groups or the established parties for supporting the issues of the left. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Right-Wing Extremists in Europe
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.