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Immigration and the growth of the far right in Europe

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posted on 2023-08-04, 15:40 authored by Candice Eraina Stokes

This paper will build upon existing literature concerning Europe's post integration identity crisis to explore how, as sovereignty is pooled at the EU level, immigration increasingly is a mobilizing factor at the national level and a basis for national identity. This trend threatens to securitize the EU's political agenda and bring further integration to a screeching halt. The countries in the EU most concerned about immigration---Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Malta, Spain, and the United Kingdom---are selected from existing polling and quantitative analysis is conducted to assess why these countries appear more concerned about immigration than their neighbors. Country analysis will reveal the presence of practical challenges in some countries, particularly efforts to adjust to new immigration trends. In other countries examined that have not experienced significant changes in immigration flows in recent years, the growth of anti-immigrant sentiment may be a response to recent national traumas and the global security agenda. A common denominator between all of the countries reviewed, however, is negative media coverage of immigration and minorities, suggesting that comprehensive media reform is needed. Comparative analysis across countries indicates that far right parties do not necessarily do best in the most xenophobic environments. Instead, a variety of factors, including the country's political system and history appear to play a role in the development of the far right. Nonetheless, where political norms preclude far right parties from exercising power in any official capacity, increasing electoral success will allow far right parties to influence policy from the periphery.



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Thesis (M.A.)--American University, 2009.


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