Oct 222016

Which publishers are the most relevant for Radical Right research? Good question.

Radical Right research by type of publication

Currently, most of the items in the The Eclectic, Erratic Bibliography on the Extreme Right in Western Europe (TM) are journal articles. The books/chapters/articles ratios have shifted somewhat over the years, reflecting both general trends in publishing and my changing reading habits, and by now the dominance of journal articles is rather striking.

Radical Right research by type of publication

The most important journals for Radical Right research (add pinch of salt as required)

One in three of this articles has been published in one of the four apparent top journals for Radical Right research: the European Journal of Political Research, West European Politics, Party Politics, and Acta Politica. I say ’apparent’ here, because this result may be a function of my (Western) Eurocentrism and my primary interest in Political Science and Sociology. Other Social Sciences are underrepresented, and literature from national journals that publish in other languages than English is virtually absent.

But hey: Laying all scruples aside, here is a table of the ten most important journals for Radical Right research:

Journal No. of articles
European Journal of Political Research 38
West European Politics 35
Party Politics 24
Acta Politica 22
Electoral Studies 15
Parliamentary Affairs 13
Patterns of Prejudice 12
Comparative European Politics 10
Comparative Political Studies 10
Government and Opposition 9

Neat, isn’t it?

I did a similar analysis nearly two years ago. Government and Opposition as well as Comparative European Politics are new additions to the top ten (replacing Österreichische Zeitschrift fĂŒr Politikwissenschaft and Osteuropa), but otherwise, the picture is much the same. So if you publish on the Radical Right and want your research to be noticed, you should probably aim for these journals.

Oct 202016

For the past 15 years or so, I have maintained an extensive collection of references on the Radical/Extreme/Populist/New/Whatever Right in Western Europe. Because I love TeX and other command line tools of destruction, these references live in a large BibTeX file. BibTeX is a well-documented format for bibliographic text files that has been around for decades and can be written and read by a large number of reference managers.

Because BibTeX is so venerable, it’s unsurprising that there is even an R package (RefManageR) that can read and write BibTeX files, effectively turning bibliographic data into a dataset that can be analysed, graphed and otherwise mangled to one’s heart’s desire. And so my totally unscientific analysis of the Radical Right literature (as reflected in my personal preferences and interests) is just three lines of code away:

# read
ex <- ReadBib("/home/kai/Work/bibliography/xr-bibliography/extreme-right-western-europe-bibliography.bib")
year publications
2014 34
2012 38
2000 42
2002 54
2015 57

So 2012, 2014 and 2015(!) saw a lot of publications that ended up on my list, but 2000 and particularly 2002 (the year Jean-Marie Le Pen made it into the second round of the French presidential election) were not bad either. 2013 and 2003 (not listed) were also relatively strong years, with 33 publications each.

To get a more complete overview, it’s best to plot the whole time series (ignoring some very old titles):


There is a distinct upwards trend all through the 1990s, a post-millenial decline in the mid-naughties (perhaps due to the fact that I completed a book manuscript then and became temporarily negligent in my collector’s duties, but I don’t think so), and then a new peak during the last five years, undoubtedly driven by recent political events and countless eager postdocs and PhD students. I’m just beginning to understand the structure of data objects that RefManageR creates from my bibliography, but I think it’s time for some league tables next.

Oct 062016

Public service announcement: Since at least some leaves are brown and the sky is mostly grey, it must be time for the autumn update to the ever more eclectic (and erratic!) bibliography on the Radical/Extreme Right in Western Europe. This is a major revision: Since the spring edition, the bibliography has grown from 506 to 613 titles on the New/Radical/Populist/Extreme/You-Know-What-I-Mean Right (that’s a cool 21% increase). The growth is mostly due to a wealth of new articles that have appeared in the last couple of years. Unlike in previous editions, I have included an number of titles that are still on my to-read list, purely on the grounds that they look interesting. As always, please send me your suggestions for further additions to the list.

Photo by gadl

Sep 162016

The good folks over at CEMES are running a lecture series on the “New Political Right in Continental Europe“. What’s even better: they have kindly invited me to talk about Germany. Here is the abstract of my presentation:german-far-right-copenhagen-0

For decades, Germany has been a tough ground for the Radical Right. Support for right-wing parties such as the DVU, NPD, or REP was inconsistent and mostly confined to the local and regional levels, chiefly because these parties remained tied to National Socialism, rendering them unpalatable to (most) voters. This has changed with the rise of the new “Alternative for Germany” (AfD), which, in September 2013, only months after its inception, came tantalisingly close to the five-percent threshold in the 2013 General election. Since then, the AfD has entered ten state parliaments and seems firmly on its way to become a national political force that will, at a minimum, make coalition formation much more difficult. This talk aims at giving an overview of the party, its relationship with the wider right-wing sector in Germany, and its position vis-a-vis other Radical Right parties in Europe.

Update: Slides are now available for viewing/download

Sep 052016

The result of yesterday’s regional election in Mecklenburg-West Pomerania (aka Mecklenburg-Vorpommern for the initiated or Meck-Pomm for the impatient) was not a surprise, but still a shock to many. I wrote a short article for the LSE’s EUROPP blog.

Angela Merkel’s CDU came third behind the Alternative for Germany (AfD) and the German Social Democrats (SPD) in elections in Mecklenburg-West Pomerania on 4 September. Kai Arzheimer writes that wh

Head over to EUROPP – The AfD’s second place in Mecklenburg-West Pomerania illustrates the challenge facing Merkel in 2017 for the full article.

Jul 272016

In a press statement this morning, the AfD’s deputy leader Alexander Gauland (who is also head of the party’s chapter and the parliamentary party in the Eastern state of Brandenburg) has demanded a (temporary) ban on Muslims seeking refuge in Germany “until all asylum seekers in Germany have been registered, checked upon, and have their applications processed”. No, I don’t know how this should work in practice (if it was constitutional) either. But it’s nice step towards the Trumpification of European Politics.Refugee Ship Silhouette

Here is the (German language) source.

Jul 182016

1st guest blog ever:

Nach dem Brexit-Referendum bringen alle denkbaren Modelle fĂŒr eine Neuregelung der Beziehungen zwischen Großbritannien und der EuropĂ€ischen Union Nachteile: fĂŒr Deutschland, fĂŒr die EU – und besonders fĂŒr Großbritannien selbst. Ein Verbleib Großbritanniens im EuropĂ€ischen Wirtschaftraum (auch als „norwegisches Modell“ bezeichnet) wĂ€re dabei fĂŒr alle Beteiligten höchstwahrscheinlich mit den geringsten ökonomischen Kosten verbunden. Der Binnenmarkt – einschließlich der fĂŒr London zentralen Finanzdienstleitungen – bliebe den Briten ohne grĂ¶ĂŸere EinschrĂ€nkungen erhalten. Allerdings mĂŒsste Großbritannien nach wie vor einen Beitrag zum EU-Haushalt leisten und weitgehende PersonenfreizĂŒgigkeit fĂŒr EU-BĂŒrger hinnehmen, ohne dabei die Regeln des Binnenmarktes mitzubestimmen. In gewissem Sinne wĂŒrde Großbritannien damit mehr SouverĂ€nitĂ€t abgeben als durch eine EU-Mitgliedschaft. Somit ist das ökonomisch WĂŒnschbare kaum mit den politischen Zielen der „Brexiteers“ in Einklang zu bringen. Auch das Referendum befreit Großbritannien nicht von diesem grundsĂ€tzlichen „trade-off“.

Arne Niemann

Professur fĂŒr Internationale Politik

Ko-Direktor des Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence “Europe in Global Dialogue”

Jul 142016

An update on the state of the Handbook of Electoral Behaviour

The forthcoming Sage Handbook of Electoral Behaviour has just “moved into production”. That is certainly a good thing, but no, I don’t know what that entails exactly either. Editing such a tome is great fun if you observe a small set of simple rules:

  1. Pick great authors whose work doesn’t need editing in the first place.
  2. Work with great colleagues who do the remaining bits of heavy lifting, and
  3. try not to get in their way.

Thanks to my following these golden rules, the book should be out in late 2016.

Draft chapter: Electoral Research and Technology – free for now

My own contribution has been rather modest: I’ve penned a (and finally revised) a chapter on electoral research and technology. That again was a fun exercise, as I’m going on and on about about the highly seductive structure of multi-level and other complex data, the joy of social network analysis, the temptation of spatial regression, and even (in passing) the adventures of Bayesian statistics. The cool thing about being one’s own editor is that there is not much editorial interference.

Now that the book is in “production” (see above), it should be out by the end of the year, but you can read the draft of “Psephology and Technology, or: The Rise and Rise of the Script-Kiddie” here. Heck, there is even a Psephology and Technology PDF available for download.

Jun 252016

So Britain has voted for Leave. The BBC is providing coverage 24/7. And the most amazing thing? To me,  it is the deafening silence from the Conservative leadership and the Leave campaign.
The country has just held what might be the most important vote in a generation or more. Britain is divided against itself in all sorts of ways. The rest of Europe is jumping up and down excitedly. Foreign ministers and PMs across the continent try to calm down the markets and their people.
Meanwhile in Britain, there is zilch political leadership. No one is outlining any sort of plan. Boris,  the man who has supposedly won the campaign, has not been seen or heard since Friday morning. Cameron is doing business as usual, inspecting the armed forces. The rest of them probably had plans for the weekend, as opposed to plans for carrying out Brexit. For the outsider, it looks once more like bloody amateur night in British politics – a night that might last all summer.