Polyakova, Alina

The Dark Side of European Integration


Social Foundations and Cultural Determinants of the Rise of Radical Right Movements in Contemporary Europe



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Across Europe, radical right-wing parties are winning increasing electoral support. The Dark Side of European Integration argues that this rising nationalism and the mobilization of the radical right are the consequences of European economic integration. The European economic project has produced a cultural backlash in the form of nationalist radical right ideologies.
This assessment relies on a detailed analysis of the electoral rise of radical right parties in Western and Eastern Europe. Contrary to popular belief, economic performance and immigration rates are not the only factors that determine the far right's success. There are other political and social factors that explain why in post-socialist Eastern European countries such parties had historically been weaker than their potential, which they have now started to fulfill increasingly. Using in-depth interviews with radical right activists in Ukraine, Alina Polyakova also explores how radical right mobilization works on the ground through social networks, allowing new insights into how social movements and political parties interact.

180 Seiten, Paperback. 2015
ISBN 978-3-8382-0766-7
ISSN 2192-7448



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"Polyakova's sophisticated exploration of why and how ultra-nationalists succeed challenges widely held assumptions about the determinants of right-wing electoral support and individual radicalization. Her study is unusual in comparing the European far right beyond the borders of the EU and in including field research results from Western Ukrainian provinces. This succinct investigation should find wide attention among researchers of political extremism and will help us better understand the reasons for the current surge of xenophobia across Europe."
Dr. Andreas Umland, Kyiv-Mohyla Academy

“Drawing on over 100 interviews, Alina Polyakova explains in detail how radical nationalists recruit new members and mobilise support. […]
There, the author shows that nationalist beliefs do not precede joining radical movements, but rather radical ideas result from interactions with other activists. […] The book is clearly argued and is written in easily accessible language, for the most part avoiding unnecessary jargon. It presents many interesting insights into ethnic politics in Europe.”
Krzysztof Jaskułowski, Political Studies Review, December 2016

"The book is well-researched and it presents interesting findings. Therefore, it should be of interest to an audience that is interested in the rise of the radical right in Europe. It brings together a comparison of determinants of support for the radical right between Western and Eastern Europe and analyses how the radical right recruits and mobilises members. These make the book a valuable contribution to the literature."
Zerrin Torun, Europe-Asia Studies, 1/2017


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