Neo-fascism and the radical right: from post-World War II to the 21st century

Neo-fascism and the radical right: from post-World War II to the 21st century

Transdisciplinary Culture, Space and Memory Research Centre (CITCEM) of the University of Porto’s Faculty of the Arts and Humanities; Institute of Contemporary History (IHC) of NOVA University Lisbon
From - Until
22.10.2021 - 23.10.2021
Connections Redaktion, Leipzig Research Centre Global Dynamics, Universität Leipzig

This conference aims to contribute to further reflection and an open, cross-cutting and multidisciplinary scientific debate on the different aspects that characterise the rise and political-electoral implementation of neo-fascism in the West, from the perspectives of history, sociology, philosophy, political science, communication sciences, law, and cultural and literary studies.

Neo-fascism and the radical right: from post-World War II to the 21st century

Neo-fascism calls democracy into question, gives voice to racism and xenophobia, as well as denying freedoms, rights and guarantees. Its supporters question the impartiality and universality of educational, scientific and legal systems, they promote a nationalist agenda and relativise, or even restore, the fascist ideals, policies and practices that spread across Europe and the world between the two great wars. Therefore, neo-fascism is a phenomenon of unique international relevance and has already been the subject of extensive and multidisciplinary debate.

The defeat of Nazi-Fascism in World War II and the fall of the last fascist dictatorships in Europe (Portugal, Spain and Greece) in 1974-1977 shook the foundations of right-wing extremism. In the European-American political context, there was a widespread belief that anti-democratic, anti-liberal and nationalist policies were definitively laid to rest. The implosion of the socialist bloc led many to take it for grented that liberal democracy would be the uncontested model for social, political and economic organisation.

In this debate, it is of utmost importance to understand what factors contributed to creating this neo-fascism enabling environment, allowing it to influence governance and to have a very significant electoral representation in Europe and the Americas. Several studies seem to point, firstly, to the combination of the effects of neo-liberal policies and the tabloidization of the media and, more recently, to the creation of a new political culture focused on the construction and social reinforcement of prejudice. While the former called into question the duties and functions of a Welfare State, taking on openly authoritarian practices in what has come to be known as “surveillance capitalism”, the latter fuelled a growing sense of alarm and social anxiety. Both thus contributed to creating conditions conducive to the re-emergence, normalisation and mediatisation of neo-fascist discourse.

Everyone is thus invited to submit papers on the following topics:

– “Neo-fascism”, “far-right”, “national populism” and “radical right”: what these concepts mean and their importance;
– Fascism and neo-fascism in post-war history: values, experiences, organisations and power;
– Structures of the past: historiography of radical rights, saudosismo movement, historical revisionism and laundering of fascist regimes;
– The media, tabloidization, social media, fake news, surveillance capitalism;
– Neofascism and its relation with culture, education, art, literature and science;
– Religion and individual freedoms: homophobia, anti-feminism, racism;
– National populism: historical continuity(ies), identitarian discourse, racism, xenophobia, “criminalisation” of migrants and neo-colonialism.

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