The mainstreaming of the far-right agenda is perhaps most perplexing in the Netherlands. What explains the far right’s resurgence throughout Europe and should we be worried? This essay on Carnegie Council argues that we should.

Europe’s Far Right Goes Mainstream: The Failure of Multiculturalism?

It is no secret that the economic downturn has breathed new life into far-right forces. Whether in the Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland, France, or the United States, political and economic instability have provided a window of opportunity for xenophobic, anti-minority hate groups to feed on the fears of the disenfranchised. The problem is particularly acute across continental Europe, where far-right xenophobia is no longer a platform perpetuated by a fringe minority, but is an increasingly vocal part of the prevailing discourse. Indeed, in European countries large and small alike, far-right parties are winning votes, entering parliaments, and in some cases, forming governments. As they do so, their platforms and policies are going mainstream.

What explains the far right’s resurgence throughout Europe and should we be worried? This essay argues that we should. While the growing appeal of the far right has sounded alarms all across Europe, too little attention has been paid to understanding why Europe so consistently struggles with hate-based politics. Despite the perceived failures of multiculturalism, Europe should do more to understand why xenophobia remains so compelling and why its immigrants continue to struggle to become European.

The Dutch Conundrum
In a country that for centuries was heralded as a beacon of political and religious tolerance, anti-immigrant rhetoric and Islamophobia have become integral to national discourse.


Gepubliceerd op Polonia.NL 18.04.2012
– Uitgever: STEP – Stichting van Poolse Experts in Nederland , lees meer over ons

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