Boring white people or fascinating bad guys? Lessons from the study of political radicalism [PACSA] 
Alexandra Schwell (University of Klagenfurt)
Ana Ivasiuc (Philipps University Marburg)
Agnieszka Pasieka (University of Vienna)
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Thursday 16 August, 9:00-10:45, 11:15-13:00 (UTC+0)

Short Abstract:

Right-wing populism and extremism are increasingly setting the political and societal tone throughout Europe. The panel seeks to critically engage with methodological and ethical issues anthropologists have been addressing in tackling the resurgence and manifestations of the radical right.

Long Abstract

Right-wing populism and extremism are increasingly setting the political and societal tone throughout Europe, leading to the "mainstreaming" of radical right-wing ideas. This resurgence and the varied manifestations of the radical right - from extreme right grassroots movements to right-wing populist parties - across the world have, unsurprisingly, been attracting more and more attention from anthropologists. In attempting to tackle the subject, anthropologists have been addressing various methodological and ethical issues, pondering over the very possibility of studying "the people we don't like" and the costs and perils of conducting research on subjects we deeply disagree with or even fight (as activists, opinion makers, or simply as citizens).

In this panel, we seek to critically engage these assumptions and to demonstrate that research on right-wing populism and extremism (and kindred issues which lie at the heart of contemporary societies) ought to be seen within a broader disciplinary and interdisciplinary context. Therefore, we invite contributions that address, but are not limited to, the following topics:

- anthropological engagement with "radical alterity" and "unlikable groups"

- the anthropological toolkit and its usefulness / applicability in approaching "unlikable Other(s)"

- issues related to ethics and "rapport" with such "repugnant others"

- the theoretical contribution that the study of political radicalism has to offer to the discipline at large

- the politics of writing on political radicalism.

Accepted papers: