Far Right Politics, Political Executives’ Radical Leadership Styles, and Anti-far Right Social Movements

Panel Code
Closed Panel
In Person

Far right politics is an umbrella concept that embraces both radical (i.e., illiberal) and extreme (i.e., anti-democratic) forms of right-wing politics. Empirically, far-right politics is on the rise. In recent years, far right politicians and parties have gained executive power in several presidential and parliamentary countries, and their leadership style can pose serious threats to liberal democracy. In reaction to this phenomenon, new social movements challenging the authoritarian aspects of far-right politics in government have developed.

Often, far right chief executives advocate policies that negatively affect traditionally excluded groups, such as women, LGTBQIA+ communities, sexual dissidences, and indigenous peoples. In some Latin American countries, for example, the rise of far-right politics has implied the diffusion of conservative discourses and policy concerning social, sexual, and reproductive rights; Jair Bolsonaro’s Brazil is a case in point. In Europe, Mateusz Morawiecki cabinet in Poland or Viktor Orbán leadership in Hungary are further examples. The recent electoral success of Meloni’s Brothers of Italy in Italy is a further call to think about the effects – or the absence thereof – of far-right politics on the institutional facet of the relevant political systems and on policy.

This research committee encourages interested scholars to reflect on these issues. In particular, contributions could answer questions such as: under what social, political and economic conditions is far right politics strong and when are far right politicians and parties less likely to succeed? Does extensive political participation foster or undermine far right politics? What impact can mandatory vote have on the success of extremist political ideologies? When are democratic social movements successful in preserving liberal democracy against illiberal and anti-democratic politicians and parties?

However, this is a suggestion and, more generally, this session welcomes any panel or paper on topics other than this, which are broadly related to the field of Political Sociology. It is open to a variety of theoretical and methodological approaches as well as to both theoretical and empirical papers.