Rise of the Ultra-Right and Young People

Saturday, 21 July 2018: 08:30-10:20
RC48 Social Movements, Collective Actions and Social Change (host committee)

Language: English

Since 2008 we have witnessed significant increases in popular support for ultra-right populism especially amongst young people. The Identitarian a pan-European socio-political movement, started in France in 2002 as a ultra-right youth movement now has active chapters in Germany, Austria, Denmark, Poland, Lithuania, Slovenia and Italy. Young people provide much of the leadership and the rank-and-file membership in the English Defence League: with 72% of their active supporters under 30.  In Germany, support by young people for the ultra-right populist parties grows: Alternative for Germany was the first choice of 26% of voters aged 18-24 in the regional Saxony-Anhalt elections held in 2016. Added to this are ultra-right populist websites and use of other social media to promote and rebrand far right politics. New media has been particularly effective in recruiting, communicating and mobilising action in various forms (eg trolling, Denial of Service Attacks and street protest etc).

We invite contributions based on research that offers insight into the appeal of ultra-right populism to young people.  Paper may help develop an understanding of the meanings young people give to this kind of politics and its implications for the future. We also invite contributions that consider how democratic cultures   might best respond to this development.  What are the limits of such politics within a democratic polity? Is it possible to transform such adversarial politics into what Mouffe called agonistic politics, and if so how might that be achieved?

Session Organizers:
Judith BESSANT, RMIT University, Australia and Rob WATTS, RMIT University, Australia
Rob WATTS, RMIT University, Australia
Oral Presentations