The Dark Side of European Integration: Social Foundations and Cultural Determinants of the Rise of Radical Right Movements in Contemporary Europe
Across Europe, radical right-wing parties are winning increasing electoral support. In “The Dark Side of European Integration” (ibidem-Verlag and Columbia University Press, 2015) Alina Polyakova 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.