Apr 192018
 

Apr 142018
 

Back in March 2018, the Montreal Holocaust Museum invited me to an expert panel that they were organising as part of their Action Week against Racism. The topic: the resurgence of aggressive right-wing politics in Europe. Speaking on this issue, at this institution, was both poignant and humbling. Here are my slides.

Apr 062018
 

Spring is the new winter

A mere four months ago I asked you to send me your favourites for the autumn/winter edition of the ever popular Extreme Right bibliography, and send you did – so many references that it took me a bit longer than expected, and now it’s time for the spring edition. But since it is still cold outside, this problem’s solved. Sort of. So here it is: the latest edition of the Eclectic, Erratic Bibliography on the Extreme Right in Western Europe

118 new titles

Last year’s update was big (117 new titles), but this year’s update is bigger (118). I’m not making this up, it’s a simple, strange coincidence. And most of the new titles are, well, new.

biblio-year-bar-2018.png

There are even 13 titles that were published in 2018. With online first publications (a good thing in itself) that are turned into “real” (who reads printed journals?) articles much later, keeping track of publication years and page numbers is not a fun exercise. Speaking of not having fun: Is anyone publishing these things ever thinking of the poor sods who have to/want to read all this?

The article rules, OK?

Books are so long. Book chapters are still long, but more fun: people actually have the space to develop an idea, or to give a proper, detailed overview. But in most departments, neither counts for much, and we all have little time and so much to read. Here’s the result:

biblio-type-bar-2018.png

Kids, don’t do books.

The top ten journals

Which brings me to my final point: What are the ten most important (or rather most prominent) journals for scholars of the Radical/Extreme Right? Not much has changed since I ran this analysis for the first time in October 2016. The European Journal of Political Research and West European Politics are still leading the pack. Acta Politica and Party Politics have swapped places and there are some other minor adjustments. Political Psychology has pushed Government and Opposition out of the top ten, but Government and Opposition is hovering in the eleventh spot, so again, no big change here

Journal No. of articles
European Journal of Political Research 46
West European Politics 43
Party Politics 28
Acta Politica 25
Electoral Studies 17
Comparative European Politics 14
Parliamentary Affairs 13
Patterns of Prejudice 13
Political Psychology 13
Comparative Political Studies 12

So what?

Once more, I’m wondering if we as profession are wasting too much time and resources on these parties. At the same time, I’m eagerly waiting for the printed edition of the Oxford Handbook on the Radical Right, have wasted some more time and resources on creating a little twitter bot that promotes the fruit of our labours, and wonder if, how, and why I could text mine all those PDFs that I have collected over the years. Go figure.

Apr 032018
 
Mar 192018
 

This morning, I came across an outrageously funny a moderately amusing video involving Shaggy’s early 2000s classic, some seriously revamped lyrics, and the man himself (btw, is this blond-hairing an act of cultural appropriation?). Cheap laughs, and the almost heart-warming idea that the FBI could end this, and everything would go back to normal. And yes, they manage to squeeze a lot of legalese into these lyrics.

Which then reminded me (yes, I’m old enough to remember both the outrage over Iraq and the euphoria of Blair coming to power in 1997) of a cartoon video featuring Tony Blair, Michael Howard, and other politicians of the day, happily dancing to the same song (“I was told that there were weapons hidden underneath the sand”). I tried to google it, but it is gone, a victim of the death of flash.

What is it about this song and wildly unpopular politicians? Is there something about this song that could be coaxed into a paper (“Pseudo-Rap as Liberalism. A Conceptual Sketch and Some Applications”)? Most certainly not, so let’s just post the latest video.

Mar 152018
 

Last Monday was Commonwealth Day, the date formerly known as Empire Day. I know this because I heard some claptrap on the BBC about 2.5 billion hearts beating as one. All eyes on London etc. Otherwise I would not have known.

Let me provide some context for this. At the moment, I live in downtown Toronto, a city that used to be one of the most staunchly British outposts in the former empire.

Canada only became fully independent from Britain in 1982, and the Queen remains the head of state to the present day. There is still a Governor General, who is supposed to represent her Maj on this side of the Atlantic. Because that’s not enough, there is even a Lieutenant Governor for Ontario, who performs what is known as viceroyal duties at the provincial level and has the St George’s Cross on her standard.

Her residence and other government buildings are just around the corner. I’m surrounded by real Victorian and mock Gothic architecture that tries very hard to look like Oxford or Cambridge against the backdrop of very North American high rises.

Yet there were no flags, no parades, no speeches, nothing on the news that would have suggested that this was some special day. Exactly no one on the streets looked particularly excited. By coincidence, I saw Justin Trudeau on the telly. He was not talking about the Commonwealth, but about Trump and tariff-free trading with the US.

For good measure, I asked my students – 65 budding Political scientists in their third year – whether they had noticed the coming and passing of Commonwealth Day. Two made vaguely affirmative noises.

In other news, I hear that Britain is still on its way out of the EU so that it may better trade with former colonies and new partners.

Just saying.

 Tagged with:
Feb 282018
 

I’m still collecting references for the next iteration of the Extreme Right Bibliography (but I am almost there. Honest to God. Really). Meanwhile, while I should have probably been doing other things, I’ve brushed up my fairly rudimentary R skills and taught myself how to write a similarly rudimentary twitterbot.

kzKD4VF__400x400_2018-02-27_22-19-58.jpg

If you are reading this, the chances that you are interested in the Radical/Extreme/Etc Right are high. If you also happen to be on twitter, you will want to follow the Radical Right Research Robot for all sorts of serendipitous insights, e.g. that reference to the article you always suspected exists but were to shy to ask about.

And if that does not appeal, it has a cutesy profile pic. So follow it (him? her?). Resistance is futile.

arzheimer-2009-wordcloud.png

Feb 122018
 
Feb 052018
 

Update February 5, 2018

In March 2017, I posted a graph which shows how the AfD’s Facebook posts moved away from euroscepticism and Greece-bashing towards immigration and Islamophobia. But trends can change, and local regression smoothers have a habit of behaving strangely at the borders. So I downloaded another year’s worth of Facebook posts and reran the scripts:

Somewhat unsurprisingly, the new graph confirms for 2017 what we have seen for 2016: Muslims and immigrants are all the rage, whereas the Euro crisis is so 2014. I leave the old graph/post below as is for comparison.

Continue reading »

Jan 252018
 

It is a truth universally acknowledged that Political Science suffers from generational cycles of collective amnesia. For obvious reasons, (right-wing) populism is a hot topic again, and mature colleagues (cough) may bemoan the fact that they have seen it all before (at least twice). Let them moan. The wheel does get a little better each time round. This winter has brought us not one, not two, but (almost) three four five six Special Issues on the topic:

Have we reached peak populism? Not yet, because here is more:

  • Update (January 26). The Journal of Language and Politics was a new one to me. They seem to publish lots of interesting stuff, including their resent SI on the language of Right-Wing Populism in Europe and the US. Twelve more articles for your reading list.
  • Update January 29: And…. another one. Government and Opposition have updated their virtual SI on populism, and it’s YUGE! It’s also all open-accessed for the occasion.
  • Update January 29: They keep coming in: Democratization had a SI  on Dealing with Populists in Government (in 2016 already, but this does not get old).
  • Update January 29: As people keep sending me references, I realise that I have unleashed a beast 😉 The Czech Journal of Political Science published a SI on Populism and its Impact on the Political Landscape. It’s short (just three articles and an editorial) but looks interesting nonetheless.