1st Edition

Researching the Far Right Theory, Method and Practice

    432 Pages
    by Routledge

    432 Pages
    by Routledge

    Researching the Far Right brings together researchers from across the humanities and social sciences to provide much needed discussion about the methodological, ethical, political, personal, practical and professional issues and challenges that arise when researching far right parties, their electoral support, and far right protest movements.

    Drawing on original research focussing mainly on Europe and North America over the last 30 years, this volume explores in detail the opportunities and challenges associated with using ethnographic, interview-based, quantitative and online research methods to study the far right. These reflections are set within a wider discussion of the evolution of far right studies from a variety of disciplinary viewpoints within the humanities or the social sciences, tracing the key developments and debates that shape the field today.

    This volume will be essential reading for students and scholars with an interest in understanding the many manifestations of the far right and cognate movements today. It also offers insight and reflection that is likely to be valuable for a wider range of students and scholars across the humanities and social sciences who are carrying out work of an ethically, politically, personally, practically and professionally challenging nature.

    Part I: Disciplinary overviews

    1. Political science approaches to the far right
      Nonna Mayer
    2. Historians and the contemporary far right: To bring (or not to bring) the past into the present?
      Nigel Copsey
    3. A Sociological survey of the far right
      Kathleen Blee and Mehr Letif
    4. Right thinking: Criminologists on right wing extremism
      Barbara Perry And Ryan Scrivens
    5. Getting inside ‘the head’ of the far right: Psychological responses to the socio-political context
      Pasko Kisić Merino, Tereza Capelos and Catarina Kinnvall
    6. Neo-nationalism and far right studies: Anthropological perspectives
      Peter Hervik

      Part II: Quantitative and online research

    7. Estimating the far right vote with aggregate data
      Vasiliki Georgiadou, Lamprini Rori and Costas Roumanias
    8. Methods for mapping far right violence
      Jacob Aasland Ravndal and Anders Ravik Jupskås
    9. Challenges and opportunities of social media research: Using Twitter and Facebook to investigate far right discourses
      Jasper Muis, Ofra Klein and Guido Dijkstra 
    10. Big data and the resurgence of the far right within the United States of America
      Peita l. Richards
    11. Researching far-right hypermedia environments: a case-study of the German online platform einprozent.de
      Andreas Önnerfors
    12. Part III: Interviewing the far right 

    13. Methodology matters: researching the far right
      Amy Fisher Smith, Charles R. Sullivan, John D. Macready and Geoffrey Manzi
    14. Interviewing members of the White Power Movement in the United States: Reflections on research strategies and challenges of right-wing extremists
      Betty A Dobratz and Lisa K. Waldner
    15. Life-history interviews with right-wing extremists
      Bert Klandermans
    16. Part IV: Ethnographic studies of the far right

    17. An observational study of the Norwegian far right: some reflections
      Katrine Fangen
    18. Overcoming racialization in the field: Practicing ethnography on the far right as a researcher of color
      Vidhya Ramalingam
    19. Negotiating ethical dilemmas during an ethnographic study of anti-minority activism: A personal reflection on the adoption of a ‘non-dehumanization’ principle
      Joel Busher
    20. Whiteness, class and the ‘communicative community’: A doctoral researcher’s journey to a local political ethnography
      Stephen D. Ashe
    21. Part V: The significance of place, culture and performance when researching the far right 

    22. Studying local context to fathom far right success
      John W. P. Veugelers
    23. Studying the peripheries: Iconography and embodiment in far right youth subcultures
      Cynthia Miller-Idriss and Annett Graefe-Geusch
    24. Normalization to the right: Analyzing the micro‐politics of the far right
      Ruth Wodak
    25. Part VI: The intersection of academic and activist positionalities and disseminating far right research

    26. Getting insights and inside far right groups
      Chip Berlet
    27. From demonization to normalization: Reflecting on far right research
      Aurelien Mondon and Aaron Winter


    Stephen D. Ashe is a Researcher at the University of Manchester, UK. His primary areas of research included racism, the far right, anti-racism and anti-fascism, institutional whiteness and racial inequality in higher education and workplace racism. His recent publications include Reframing the ‘Left Behind’: Race and Class in Post-Brexit Oldham (co-authored with James Rhodes and Sivamohan Valluvan) and Racism Ruins Lives: An Analysis of the 2016-2017 Trade Union Congress Racism at Work Survey (co-authored with Magda Borkowska and James Nazroo). Stephen is currently working towards completing his monograph, The Rise and Fall of the British National Party: A Sociological Perspective, for the Routledge Studies in Fascism and the Far Right Series.

    Joel Busher is an Associate Professor at the Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations (CTPSR), Coventry University, UK. His primary research interests are in the social ecology of political violence; far right and anti-minority politics; and the enactment of counter-terrorism policy and its societal impacts. He has published extensively on these topics, and his book, The making of anti-Muslim protest: Grassroots activism in the English Defence League (Routledge), was awarded the British Sociological Association’s Philip Abrams Memorial Prize. He is currently an associate editor at Behavioral Sciences of Terrorism and Political Aggression; a member of the editorial board of Research in Social Movements, Conflicts and Change; and a member of the editorial board for the McGill-Queen’s University Press book series, ‘Power, Protest and Resistance’.

    Graham Macklin is a Postdoctoral Fellow/Assistant Professor at the Center for Research on Extremism (C-REX), University of Oslo, Norway. He has published extensively on extreme right-wing and anti-minority politics in Britain in both the inter-war and post-war periods. Major publications include Very Deeply Dyed in the Black: Sir Oswald Mosley and the Resurrection of British Fascism after 1945 (2007) and Failed Führers: A History of Britain’s Extreme Right (2020). His current work focusses on transnational right-wing networks, extreme right-wing terrorism and political violence. He co-edits the Patterns of Prejudice, Fascism and, with Nigel Copsey, the Routledge Studies in Fascism and the Far Right book series.

    Aaron Winter is Senior Lecturer in Criminology at the University of East London, UK. His research is on the far-right with a focus on racism, mainstreaming and violence. He is co-editor of Discourses and Practices of Terrorism: Interrogating Terror (Routledge 2010), Reflexivity in Criminological Research: Experiences with the Powerful and the Powerless (2014) and Historical Perspectives on Organised Crime and Terrorism (Routledge 2018), and co-author with Aurelien Mondon, of Reactionary Democracy: How Racism and the Populist Far Right Became Mainstream (2020). He has published in the journals Ethnic and Racial Studies, Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power, and Sociological Research Online and is an Associate Editor of Identities and co-editor, with Satnam Virdee and John Solomos, of the book series Racism, Resistance and Social Change.

    "The present volume is a very meritorious and overdue thematization of numerous perspectives on questions of methodology, methods and ethics in research on the radical right – a must-have, in which the extensive literature references also provide in-depth information, inviting discussion…"

    Fabian Virchow, University of Applied Sciences Düsseldorf, Germany; writing in Rezensionen (translated from the German)