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Getting 'the Right' right: Comparative ethnographies of neo-nationalist movements in Europe 
Soumhya Venkatesan (University of Manchester)
Morten Axel Pedersen (Copenhagen University)
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Tuesday 21 July, -, -
Time zone: Europe/Lisbon

Short Abstract:

This panel focuses on resurgent 'right-wing' neo-nationalist movements in Europe, which are variously anti-state and pro-market, conservative Christian, and/or nativist, to ask whether the category of the 'right' is in need of anthropological rethinking on the basis of fresh ethnographic research.

Long Abstract:

This panel explores the resurgence of neo-nationalism within the 28 countries of the EU (including UK). Noting that the category of 'the right' may span everything from anti-state and pro-market-liberalism, conservative Christianity to nativist movements that are exclusionary and supremacist, the purpose is to inquire whether the category of the 'right' is in need of anthropological rethinking based on fresh ethnographic materials. What kinds of new analytical vocabularies might be required in order to adequately describe, explain, theorize, and generalize 'the Right'? Prompted by our own work among British libertarians and neo-orthodox Danish protestants respectively, we invite other scholars who have also conducted recent ethnographic fieldwork among social movements and political activists who variously draw on ultra-liberalism, nativism, and Christianity to promote anti-establishment, anti-globalization, and anti-EU ideologies and politics. Notwithstanding the rise of similar groupings elsewhere in the world, we restrict our attention to the EU 28 to explore the oft-repeated argument (e.g. Holmes 2000) that the European project, especially its focus on integration and free trade, has spawned new politics of exclusion, cultural nationalism, racism, and social disorder. The panel thus directly addresses the theme of the conference and opens it up to ethnographically rigorous interrogation: 'Europe - East and West, North and South - would be, at last, democratic, dynamic, outward-looking, and a bastion of civil rights.' It asks whether Europe contains its own dark shadow and, if so, how to understand it anthropologically.


Holmes, D. 2000. Integral Europe: fast-capitalism, multiculturalism, neo-fascism. Princeton U.P.

Accepted papers:

Session 1 Tuesday 21 July, 2020, -