Encounters with the Contemporary Radical Right

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Encounters with the Contemporary Radical Right

Edited by Peter H. Merkl and Leonard Weinberg
Westview Press, 1993
277 pp. $65.00
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Parallel to the fundamentalism volumes noted above, this collection discusses the other nightmare of the post-Cold War world: the revival of violent right-wing groups throughout Europe and the former communist world. Groups across the world are analyzed by academic specialists who present well-informed and historically grounded accounts that avoid sensationalism and do not overemphasize the importance of their subjects. The editors are suitably agnostic concerning the broader questions raised by these disparate phenomena: Do these groups represent discontented individuals and groups, or are they the vanguard of a larger social movement that is capable of threatening Europe's democratic political order? There are some notable lapses in the book's coverage of extreme right-wing groups: the chapter on Russia deals only with Pamyat, which is arguably the most marginal of extremist Russian nationalist groups, while there is no chapter on Hungarian neo-fascism. The latter movement is an especially disturbing phenomenon because it is emerging in the Eastern European country that otherwise would be best poised to make a successful transition to stable democracy.

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