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Right-wing Extremism and Ethnocentrism in Western Europe

Abstract : Since The Authoritarian Personality (Adorno et al. 1950), right-wing extremism has been associated with ethnic prejudice or »ethnocentrism«, defined as a general disposition to valorise the groups one identifies with, or in-groups, and reject the out-groups. If the methodological flaws and the ideological bias of the initial study were extensively criticised early on (Christie and Jahoda 1954; Stone, Lederer and Christie 1993; Smith 1997; Martin 2001), its insights have been recently reassessed. Bob Altemeyer has constructed modernized and more reliable versions of the F (Fascism) and E (Ethnocentrism) scales, Jim Sidanius has developed an alternative concept of »social dominance«, and Stanley Feldman and Karen Stenner have drawn attention to the conditions of »normative threat« that activate authoritarian predispositions and turn them into intolerant and racist attitudes and behaviours (Altemeyer 1981, 1988, 1996; Sidanius and Pratto 1999; Feldmann and Stenner 1997; Stenner 2005). Does this »authoritarian-ethnocentric« model apply to the supporters of the new and electorally successful parliamentary parties on the right that have developed in Western Europe since the 1980s, such as the National Front (FN) in France, the Vlaams Belang (VB) in Flanders, the Freedom's Party (FPÖ) in Austria or the Swiss People's Party (SVP) in Switzerland? More precisely, to what extent can these parties be considered as »extreme right-wing«, what attitudes are unique to their voters, and how do such attitudes translate into actual behaviour? We address these questions here, drawing on recent comparative survey research in Europe.
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Nonna Mayer. Right-wing Extremism and Ethnocentrism in Western Europe. Alexandre Niggli. Right-wing extremism in Switzerland, Nomos Edizioni, pp.115 - 125, 2009, 9783832942410. ⟨hal-02402227⟩



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