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Pirro, Andrea LP. “Far right: The significance of an umbrella concept.” Nations and Nationalism (2022).


This contribution makes the case for a shift in boundaries between the (populist) radical right and the extreme right, arguing for the systematic use of the term ‘far right’. The significance of a deliberately generic but fundamentally meaningful concept such as ‘far right’ is motivated by the growing links between illiberal-democratic (‘radical right’) and anti-democratic (‘extreme right’) collective actors. This begs considering the conceptual grounds for differentiation among far-right collective actors, their underlying dynamics, and why it is important to look at what they do to tackle this phenomenon in practice—that is, to extrapolate their ideological essence and their varying allegiances to democracy. The complexity of far-right politics questions the long-standing conceptual distinctions internally defining it. The use of an umbrella concept may thus enhance precision in the discussion of this phenomenon, at the same time highlighting the unfolding of a new phase in nativist politics.

The Illiberalism Studies Program studies the different faces of illiberal politics and thought in today’s world, taking into account the diversity of their cultural context, their intellectual genealogy, the sociology of their popular support, and their implications on the international scene.