Digital Media Strategies of the Far Right in Europe and the United States

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With the leverage of digital reproducibility, historical messages of hate are finding new recipients with breathtaking speed and scope. The rapid growth in popularity of right-wing extremist groups in response to transnational economic crises underscores the importance of examining in detail the language and political mobilization strategies of the New Right. In Europe, for example, populist right-wing activists organized around an anti-immigration agenda are becoming more vocal, providing pushback against the increase in migration flows from North Africa and Eastern Europe and countering support for integration with a categorical rejection of multiculturalism. In the United States, anti-immigration sentiment provides a rallying point for political and personal agendas that connect the rhetoric of borders with national, racial, and security issues.

Digital Media Strategies of the Far Right in Europe and the United States is an effort to examine and understand these issues, informed by the conviction that an interdisciplinary and transnational approach can allow productive comparison of far-right propaganda strategies in Europe and the United States. With a special emphasis on performing ideology in the far-right music scene, on violent anti-immigrant stances, and on the far right’s skillful creation and manipulation of virtual communities, the contributions foreground the cultural shibboleths that are exchanged among far-right supporters on the Internet, which serve to generate a sense of group belonging and the illusion of power far greater that the known numbers of neo-Nazis in any one country might suggest. Moreover, with attention to transatlantic right-wing movements and their use of particularly digital media, the essays in this volume put pressure on the similarities among the various national agents, while accommodating differences in the virtual and sometimes violent identities created and nurtured online.

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About the Author:

Patricia Anne Simpson is professor of German studies at Montana State University in Bozeman.

Helga Druxes is professor of German at Williams College.


Simpson and Druxes’ edited collection provides a timely exploration of the role of digital media in political radicalism across Europe and North America. Drawing on an impressive array of rigorously researched studies, the volume considers not only Internet extremism, but the media strategies of contemporary far right parties and movements as well as how homophobia, racism, and radicalism are transmitted through a range of popular cultural forms. Avoiding the temptation to ascribe agency to the Internet itself, this book constitutes a rounded and nuanced contribution to the debate about how digital media is employed by the far right today. (Hilary Pilkington, The University of Manchester)

This is a truly impressive volume. The range of topics covered provides substantial breadth while each chapter offers a richly textured level of analysis. For scholars of social movements, political extremism, and digital culture this volume is a must read. (Pete Simi, University of Nebraska, Omaha)

Digital Media Strategies of the Far Right in Europe and the United States compiles a variety of perspectives on the ways right-wing activists and extremists are using popular media to advance their political—sometimes violent—agendas. Whether they opportunistically exploit democratic structures or position themselves on the radical fringe, New Right groups now share a pragmatic approach to mainstreaming their message in order to shift popular support away from liberal or centrist positions and toward rightist goals and beliefs. The transatlantic, interdisciplinary focus is a distinguishing feature of this collection.

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