FARPE - Far-Right Protest in Europe after the Great Recession

Project

Since the rise of the Nazis in Weimar Germany conventional wisdom holds that economic hardship fosters far-right mobilization. Although there is no elaborate academic theory supporting this statement, the “economic-crisis-breeds-extremism” thesis remains popular among academics and commentators. FARPE assesses the political consequences of the Great Recession on far-right mobilization after the breakdown of Lehman Brothers in Autumn 2008. It provides systematic knowledge about the a) nature, b) evolution and c) characteristics of far-right protest in times of economic and social distress.

Since few studies worked on the interactions between political parties and social movements on the far-right, FARPE focusses on both covering European countries with different vote shares for the far right (Austria, Bulgaria, Estonia, Hungary, Germany, Greece, Italy, Poland, Slovakia, Sweden and the UK). FARPE is driven by the hypothesis that economic and social turmoil have changed far-right mobilization quantitatively, by increasing the magnitude and size of protest in most EU countries, but also qualitatively by diversifying the type of groups and people involved in these. In providing answers to these questions FARPE aims at improving the understanding of whether the Great Recession is creating favorable opportunities for right-wing extremism, radicalism and populism. The project uses existing data to study the context of the Great Recession (political, economic, cultural systems), and it offers original data to qualify far-right mobilization. The research notably relies on Protest Event Analysis using national quality newspaper and party websites (WP1), as well as first-hand information gathered through semi-structured interviews with key far-right figures (WP2). 

Team