Mapping the Extreme Right in Contemporary Europe

In This Review

Mapping the Extreme Right in Contemporary Europe: From Local to Transnational
by Edited by Andrea Mammone, Emmanuel Godin, and Brian Jenkins
Routledge, 2012
360 pp. $150.00

There has been much written about the extreme right in Europe in recent years. The contribution this book makes is its analysis of specific movements in several dozen Europeans countries. Although the academic prose style and the authors's pursuit of personal research agendas are occasionally self-indulgent, an intriguing common theme emerges. Simply put, the extreme right seems to enjoy a position in European life that is more than the sum of its contradictory parts. European right-wing parties are in fact surprisingly fragmented, disagreeing over almost everything except ultranationalist sentiments and xenophobic opposition to non-European immigrants. The parties often change their views. They differ across countries, and labels fail to capture their beliefs. Still, although almost all of them are politically weak, they sometimes manage to force other parties to strategically adopt some of their positions. And although many of them appeal to atavistic notions of tradition, they are all quintessentially modern, skillfully exploiting the mass media to bolster their images and using the Internet to assist one another.