Contemporary Far-Right Thinkers and the Future of Liberal Democracy  book cover
1st Edition

Contemporary Far-Right Thinkers and the Future of Liberal Democracy

ISBN 9780367611620
Published September 27, 2021 by Routledge
354 Pages

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Book Description

This book is the first systematic analysis of the efforts of a broad range of contemporary far-right thinkers to popularize their critiques of liberal-democratic norms and institutions and make their ideas the subjects of sustained political and academic debate.

The book focuses on outspoken thinkers in western and eastern Europe, Russia, the United States, Canada, and Australia. They include Alain de Benoist, Guillaume Faye, Götz Kubitschek, Pat Buchanan, Fróði Midjord, Jason Jorjani, contributors to the online magazine Quillette, and the elusive personality known as the Bronze Age Pervert. The book explores the diverse intellectual foundations of these thinkers’ positions, the similarities and differences in their ideas, and their prospects for influencing attitudes about democratic politics within their respective countries. It examines diverse movements and schools of thought, including the European New Right, Paleoconservatism, the Alt-right, Identitarianism, White nationalism, and antifeminism.

Providing a much-needed global perspective, this book will be of considerable interest to students and scholars of populism, right-wing extremism, identity politics, fascism, racism, and conservatism.

Table of Contents

Introduction  1. Contemporary Far-Right Thinkers in the Era of Liberal Democratic Crisis  Foundations of Far-Right Thought  2. Far-Right Intellectuals and the Illiberal Discourses of Identity  3. Pat Buchanan, Far-Right Thinking, Ethnic Loyalty, and Liberal Democracy  4. Guillaume Faye, from New Right Intellectual to Prophet of the Racial Civil War  Theory in Context  5. Making the Case for "Difference": From the Nouvelle Droite to the Identitarians and the New Vanguardists  6. Geopolitics or Ethnopolitics? Guillaume Faye, the European Far Right, and the "Russia Problem"  7. Quillette, Classical Liberalism, and the International New Right  8. The Emergence of the Russian Young Conservatives  From Illiberalism to Extremism  9. The Making of Alt-History in Post-Communist Slovakia: Martin Lacko's Construction of a Proud Nation  10. The Conservative Revolution of the 21st Century: The Curious Case of Jason Jorjani  11. Beyond America: The Rise of the European Alt-Right  Into the Future  12. The "Groyper" Movement in the US: Challenges for the Post-Alt-Right  13. Metapolitics, Masculinity, and Technology in the Rise of "Bronze Age Pervert"  14. Regeneration on the Right: Visions of the Future, Past and Present  Conclusion  15. The Shifting Faces of Far-Right Identity and the Future of Liberal Democracy

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A. James McAdams is the William M. Scholl Professor of International Affairs in the Department of Political Science at the University of Notre Dame, USA.

Alejandro Castrillon is a Kellogg Institute for International Studies Fellow at the University of Notre Dame, USA.


"A. James McAdams and Alejandro Castrillon have produced an excellent collection on the connections among the French Nouvelle droite, the Alt-right, and the Paleoconservative movement. The diverse contributors, who span the globe, admirably account for the evolution of the extreme Right in the context of the crisis of liberal society and show that it is not necessarily backward looking. It can also be modern and avant-garde. Moreover, they call our attention to the persistence of the racial question for the extreme Right. A salutary book for everyone. A must read!"

Stéphane François, University of Mons, Belgium

"With its thorough and insightful analyses of a wide range of extreme-right thinkers and their sustained efforts to reach a broader political audience and influence public opinion, this important collection sheds crucial light on the battle of ideas that liberal democracy is facing in the early 21st century. Given the worrisome advance of rightwing populism, which draws a number of its appeals from this intellectual cauldron, it is high time to take this ideological milieu seriously. McAdams, Castrillon and their expert contributors make a major contribution by systematically elucidating radical-right thought in Europe, the United States, and beyond."

Kurt Weyland, University of Texas at Austin, USA

"For anyone who believed that fascism was defeated on the battlefield in World War II, this volume will provide a bracing wake-up call. Whether calling itself the "Alt-right," "Young Conservatism," or "White Nationalism," the thinkers discussed here are all motivated by an intense animus against liberal democracy. This book should be read by anyone wishing to understand the philosophic roots of what took place in Washington DC on January 6, 2021."

Steven B. Smith, Yale University, USA, and author of Reclaiming Patriotism in an Age of Extremes

"Here at last we have a series of genuinely scholarly engagements with a wide range of propagandists for ‘differentialist racism’ in several of its New Right, Identitarian, and overtly racist dialects. No matter how abstruse or ‘metapolitical’ these thinkers seem, understanding them matters because they supply the discourse for a broad spectrum of right-wing populist and neo-fascist movements chipping away at the foundations of liberal democracy all over the world."

Roger Griffin, Oxford Brookes University, UK, and author of Fascism: An Introduction to Comparative Fascist Studies

"For years we have ignored far-right thinkers as primitive or irrelevant, at our own peril. Now that far-right politics has entered the political mainstream, we no longer have this luxury. Many of the thinkers in this book have evaded serious analysis, despite having profoundly affected politics. Others might seem marginal now, but so did people like Alain de Benoist a few decades ago. To protect liberal democracy against their ideas, we first must understand them. This book is an essential guide for that purpose."

Cas Mudde, University of Georgia, USA, and author of The Far Right Today

"McAdams and Castrillon have assembled a diverse team of brilliant scholars to provide a comprehensive overview of the main themes and concerns of far-right thinkers in Europe, North America, and beyond. By taking the ideas and ideals of anti-liberal movements seriously, this volume collectively gives the reader an intimate understanding of the main intellectual concerns animating anti-democratic activists in the developed world--and a heightened sense of just how dangerous these movements may turn out to be for the future of global democracy."

Steve E. Hanson, Lettie Pate Evans Professor of Government at William & Mary, USA


Interview between A. James McAdams and Ralph Bunche Institute Director and Graduate Center Presidential Professor John Torpey, CUNY, USA

Interview between A. James McAdams and Marlene Laruelle, Director of the Illiberalism Studies Program at the Elliott School of International Affairs at the George Washington University, USA

Interview between A. James McAdams and Ashley Rowland, the Kellogg Institute at the University of Notre Dame, USA