New fascism in Eastern Europe: the side effect of Europeanization?
(FSES Comenius University)
Paper short abstract:
This paper attempts to discuss that processes of European integration do not only foster ‘integralism’, however, some ‘European’ themes such as human rights discourses, private property claims, and market rationalism have been appropriated by some neo-nationalists and their supporters.
Paper long abstract:
This paper attempts to discuss what I aim to define as 'the paradox of Europeanization' in the rise of neo-nationalism and new fascism in Central and Eastern Europe. The argument is that processes of or inspired by European integration do not only foster 'integralism' (Holmes 2000). Some themes represented and promoted by the European Union - such as human rights discourse, private property claims, and market rationalism - have been appropriated by neo-nationalists and neo-fascists. The paper intends to present this paradox by describing some case studies from Slovakia dealing with Roma/Non-Roma relations and the way neo-fascist have taken the leading role in debating them. Basing my findings on long-term research among workers and other social groups in Central and Eastern Slovakia and taking into account the discussions on uneven development and its effect on politics I call 'post-peasant populism', I argue that it is not the lack of civic virtues that defines this development of new fascism, as the majority of political analysts have been long arguing for post-socialist Europe. It is neither exclusive result of neoliberal globalization some 'macro-oriented' authors claim nor identity-crisis as 'culturalist' perspectives assume. I would like to discuss a particular interplay of community ideas and practices and the proliferation of and accommodation to the market and of/to market rationality in Central and Eastern Europe that create specific power distribution allowing neo-fascism to enjoy increasing popular support even among the 'non-integralist' groups that have generally benefited from EU project such as middle classes.
Cultural strategies and social conditions of neo-nationalisms in Europe