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The Longue Durée of the Far Right: Ideology, Organization, State Formation and International Relations

October 2012 (Queen Mary, University of London)


Call for Papers

The (re)emergence of far-right parties and social movements in various parts of the world – and particularly in Europe – in recent years has been widely discussed in the press and in academic commentary. In contrast to their ‘revolutionary’ bedfellows on the communist left, since the end of the Cold War far-right parties have come to form a significant and disturbing part of the political geography in a number of countries. Whilst their influence has been uneven – from participating in governing coalitions in Western Europe (the Austrian Freedom Party and the Italian Lega Nord) and in India (the Bharatiya Janata Party) to spawning a violent Islamophobic street movement (the English Defence League in the UK), to forming a major component of anti-imperialist movements across much of the Islamic world – their general appearance across time and space suggests that the current era is comparable to the earlier historical conjunctures of far-right mobilization in the late nineteenth century and inter-war periods. The varied forms of far-right have combined with their contrasting ideological dimensions, which has made the taxonomy of far-right something of an academic industry in itself. In particular, the far-right has come to be divided over its ‘post-fascist’ rhetorical commitment to (liberal) democracy as opposed to an authoritarian and demagogic populism and also between a neo-fascist commitment to a statist and protectionist model of capitalism and an embrace of much of the policy formulas of neo-liberalism by some strands of the contemporary far-right.

These developments raise a number of analytical and political questions. How distinct are these contemporary manifestations of the far-right compared to the previous historical forms of the far-right? How analytically useful is the concept of fascism in describing the generic far-right? What are the social bases of the far-right – past and present? Which methodological framework provides the most useful analytical tool to examine and understand the far-right? What of the relationship between the evolving dynamics of uneven capitalist development and geopolitical order on the determination of far-right movements – historical and contemporary?

The aim of this workshop is to promote an inter-disciplinary engagement with these issues through bringing together scholars from a range of different subject areas (IR, IPE, Geography, History, Sociology, Comparative Politics and Political Theory) to re-think the linkages between the historical, sociological and international dimensions of the far-right – as ideology, movement and state – over the longue durée from its emergence as a distinct and modern form of politics in the late nineteenth century to its more recent re-emergence in their intertwining local, national and international contexts.

Possible themes for consideration, but not limited to:

Comparative historical case studies of far-right movements and states

Analytical issues of comparisons and comparative methodologies

International relations of fascist state formation processes

Far-right movements in colonial and post-colonial contexts

Evolving class and social compositions of the far-right

Political economies of fascist states

Distinctions and relations between ideologies, movements and states

Geopolitical ordering and far-right movements and states – imperial, Cold War and post-Cold War eras

Capitalist development, uneven, combined or  otherwise and conjunctures of crisis on processes of far-right emergence, evolution and transformation

Geographical and spatial variations in the far-right – urban/rural, local/national, north/south

Aesthetic representations in architecture, art and culture

Racialized conceptions of space and territoriality in ideologies and state practices


Please send proposals (of no more than 500 words), along with biographical and institutional information to Rick Saull ( or Alex Anievas

( by June 4, 2012




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Global Capitalism

New book on the Post-Colonial State:

Tariq Amin-Khan, The Post-Colonial State in the Era of Capitalist Globalization: Historical, Political and Theoretical Approaches to State Formation. New York: Routledge, 2012.

ISBN 978-0-415-89159-2.

 State formation in post-colonial societies differed greatly from the formation of the Western capitalist state. The latter has been extensively studied, while a coherent grasp of the post-colonial state – despite the recent ethnographical explorations – has remained elusive. Amin-Khan provides a critical, historical and contemporary understanding of post-colonial state formations in Asia andAfrica, and articulates how this process differed for Latin American states.

 A common signifier of the post-colonial state is the retention of the unitary colonial state structure by its ruling classes. This legacy has reinscribed the colonial-era social relations in post-colonial societies, and consolidated the power of the ‘overdeveloped’ civil and military bureaucracy. At the same time, the US was able to remove ‘nationalist’ leadership in Africa and Asia to create client post-colonial states that have remained beholden to Western states, transnational corporations and international financial institutions.

The analysis of these developments shows that the vast majority of post-colonial states have remained proto-capitalist – with feudal landholders and bureaucratic elite having a stranglehold on state power. In contrast, those few countries (India, South Africa and others) that have emerged as capitalist post-colonial states have been able to partly shake off the colonial legacy and loosen the noose of imperialist domination. The final two chapters ground theory by concretely analyzing the nature and development trajectories of the states of India and Pakistan as two distinct examples respectively of capitalist and proto-capitalist states – which can be generalized as the two state forms prevalent in post-colonial societies.

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