Reactionary Democracy (häftad)
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Verso Books
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Reactionary Democracy

How Racism and the Populist Far Right Became Mainstream

Häftad,  Engelska, 2020-04-28
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Democracy is not necessarily progressive, and will only be if we make it so. What Mondon and Winter call 'reactionary democracy' is the use of the concept of democracy and its associated understanding of the power to the people (demos cratos) for reactionary ends. The resurgence of racism, populism and the far right is not the result of popular demands, it is the logical conclusion of manipulation by the elite of the working class to push reactionary ideas. These narratives portray racism as a popular demand, rather than as something encouraged and perpetuated by elites, exonerating those with the means to influence and control public discourse through the media in particular. This has legitimised the far right, strengthened its hand and compounded inequalities. These actions divert us away from real concerns and radical alternatives to the current system. Through a careful and thorough deconstruction of the hegemonic discourse currently preventing us from thinking beyond the liberal vs populist dichotomy, this book develops a better understanding of the systemic forces underpinning our current model and its exploitative and discriminatory basis. The book shows us that the far right would not have been able to achieve such success, either electorally or ideologically, were it not for the help of elite actors like the media, politicians and academics. While the far right is a real threat and should not be left off the hook, the authors argue that we need to shift the responsibility of the situation towards those who too often claim to be objective bystanders despite their powerful standpoint and clear capacity to influence the agenda, public discourse, and narratives, particularly when they platform and legitimise racist and far right ideas and actors.
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Praise for After Charlie Hebdo: A unique transnational take on the weaponization of liberal values after the Paris attacks. After Charlie Hebdo takes Islamophobia apart and equips us for the fight back. -- Liz Fekete, Director, Institute of Race Relations Praise for After Charlie Hebdo: A bold, challenging and forthright collection that raises fundamental questions around issues of race and identity. -- Michael Cronin, Trinity College Dublin Praise for After Charlie Hebdo: The attack on Charlie Hebdo has been a transformative event, one that presents particular challenges for freedom of speech. This insightful collection helps us to reflect on how we can develop an alternative narrative on violence, racism, and freedom of expression. -- Donatella della Porta, Scuola Normale Superiore Praise for After Charlie Hebdo: "These essays offer stimulating perspectives on the violent paradoxes of French liberalism. For English speakers, they give valuable context to the political dynamics behind the Charlie episode." -- Nick Riemer, University of Sydney Praise for After Charlie Hebdo: "An engaging contribution to our understanding of the 2015 attacks, examining the media framing of the event and the conflict of values it created in public debate." -- Romain Badouard, University of Cergy-Pontoise Praise for The Mainstreaming of the Extreme Right in France and Australia: Aurlien Mondon has written a brilliant and original book. It involves a comparative history of the French and Australian right in the longue dure and shows how the post-war extreme right parties - the Front National in France and One Nation in Australia - absorbed the inner-spirit of both nations' very different right-wing traditions and were then able to transform the rhetoric and the tone of politics, especially on questions connected to ethnicity and race, under Sarkozy in France and Howard in Australia. This work will change the way scholars view the significance of the resurgence of the populist right in Europe and beyond. -- Robert Manne, La Trobe University, Australia Praise for The Mainstreaming of the Extreme Right in France and Australia: In spite of their different histories and political cultures, France and Australia have been prime examples of a broader trend: the 'mainstreaming' of far right discourses and previously taboo issues associated with them. Mondon's fascinating but also sobering book shows why the far right's electoral performance is a misleading indicator of its political influence; behind it lies a more complex dynamic of ideological normalisation, which may easily serve the far right in the longer term. -- Aristotle Kallis, Lancaster University, UK Praise for The Mainstreaming of the Extreme Right in France and Australia: This book provides an original and informed study of the nature and narratives of the extreme right in two developed countries where questions of identity, immigration and the negotiation of change figure prominently in public debate. It makes a valuable contribution to comparative political analysis and will appeal to readers interested in how key populist extremist parties impact on contemporary politics and society. -- Paul Hainsworth, University of Ulster, UK Fires a rescue flare warning that the threat to civil society, human rights, and democracy itself must not be ignored-before it is too late. -- Chip Berlet A clever, timely interrogation of what racism truly means, and why it persists in modern liberal democracies. Everyone needs to read this. -- Angela Saini Reactionary Democracy makes an important contribution to critical thought by mapping the complex ways in which racism has acquired renewed force in the contemporary conjuncture. Drawing expertly on developments in the US, UK and France, the entangled logics of liberal and illiberal racisms are carefully illuminated making transparent the complicity of liberalism with its so-called populist alternative. Wit

Övrig information

Aurelien Mondon researches and teaches at the University of Bath. His first book, The Mainstreaming of the Extreme Right in France and Australia: A Populist Hegemony?, was published in 2013 and he recently co-edited After Charlie Hebdo: Terror, Racism and Free Speech. Aaron Winter is Senior Lecturer in Criminology at the University of East London. He is co-editor of Discourses and Practices of Terrorism: Interrogating Terror and more recently, Historical Perspectives on Organised Crime and Terrorism.