Far-Right Movements in Contemporary Australia: An Introduction

Chapter · July 2019with 23 Reads
DOI: 10.1007/978-981-13-8351-9_1
In book: The Far-Right in Contemporary Australia, pp.1-17
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Abstract
The introduction gives a short overview of the various far-right groups and actions in Australia over the past decades, arguing that far-right movements have not been as visible in Australia as they have been in Europe and North America. The contemporary era, however, has witnessed a rising moral panic around the place of Islam in Australia, which has created a fertile environment for the emergence of new far-right groups. The resurgence of an emboldened far-right in Australia has been a development that has taken communities and policymakers by surprise. Australian scholarship was also ill-prepared, with research on the Australian far-right remaining conceptually and empirically underdeveloped. This introduction outlines how the individual chapters seek to address these academic knowledge gaps and contribute to making sense of the far-right in Australia.

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    Chapter 1 Introduction: Powerful Medicine Chapter 2 The Unfolding Response to the Sacred Chapter 3 Religion's Violent Accomplices Chapter 4 Violence as a Sacred Duty Chapter 5 Militants for Peace Chapter 6 Reconciliation and the Politics of Forgiveness Chapter 7 Religion and Conflict Transformation Chapter 8 Religious Human Rights and Interreligious Peace Building Chapter 9 Ambivalence as Opportunity
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    • Kevin Dunn
      Kevin Dunn
    • James Forrest
      James Forrest
    • Rogelia Pe-Pua
      Rogelia Pe-Pua
    • Karin Maeder-Han
    Cities are indeed places of everyday racism, experienced as ethnocentrism, prejudice and ethnic-based hatred. Drawing on an Australia-wide telephone survey of respondents' experiences of 'everyday' racism in various contexts, conducted in 2006, we examine forms of racist experience, as well as the contexts and responses to those experiences for Sydney, Melbourne and Perth, Australia's main immigrant-receiving cities. Results show that between 1 in 10, and 1 in 3 respondents, depending on their background and situation, experience some form of 'everyday' racism. However, this particular aspect of urban incivility is shadowed by everyday good relations. There is what might be called a 'geography of cultural repair' and cultural maintenance within the cosmopolitan city. There is strong support for anti-racism policy. Where action is taken in response to racism, it is determined by everyday confrontations and attempts at direct reconciliation. Formal complaints and reports are much rarer forms of anti-racism. In this paper, we advocate a pragmatic on-going, agonistic politics of cultural exchange and tolerance.
  • Article
    • Michael Humphrey
      Michael Humphrey
    Post September 11 migration has increasingly been framed as a security problem. In the 2010 Australian election campaign migration was connected to security (defence of our borders, terrorism and social cohesion) and to related issues of insecurity about the future (population size, sustainability and economic growth). This framing of migration as a national issue conceals the reality that migration to Australia is part of the global largescale flow of population. This paper seeks to analyse the ‘security turn’ in migration debates in Australia and the North. It argues that the securitisation of migration signifies the transformation of security from the problem of producing national order to the problem of managing global disorder. The relationship between securitisation and the production of order are explored through firstly examining domestication and securitisation of Muslims and Islam in Western states as a strategy for their management as transnational categories of risk and secondly, the transnational management of populations as ‘hypergovernance’, the ability of some states to intervene in and shape other states and societies as a neo-imperial project through military action, humanitarian relief, religious and secular NGOs, economic aid, development assistance, education, religious evangelism and radicalism. The paper argues that the securitisation of migration in the twenty-first centuary is very likely to intensify.
  • Article
    • Gissur Erlingsson
      Gissur Erlingsson
    • Karl Loxbo
      Karl Loxbo
    • Richard Öhrvall
      Richard Öhrvall
    Does the local organisational presence of anti-immigrant parties affect their chances for electoral success? In order to answer this question, the article explores the potential of a supply-oriented explanation to anti-immigrant party success by examining the electoral advancements the Sweden Democrats (SD) made in the 2006 and 2010 elections. Our results indicate that traditional demand-side explanations to anti-immigrant party success can be successfully complemented by an ‘internal supply-side argument’ to make the electoral fates of these parties more intelligible. Whether the SD had a local organisational presence had a substantial effect on its results in the national election and on the probability of gaining representation in local councils. Thus, the party’s fate in the national as well as local elections was largely determined by whether or not it had a local organisational presence in Swedish municipalities.
  • Article
    • Daniel Stockemer
      Daniel Stockemer
    • Bernadette LaMontagne
    Embracing populist rhetoric, an anti-immigration platform and the reversal of the Islamization of western societies, several European extreme right parties have attracted numerous votes over the past two decades. This trend is particularly visible in Austria, where the Austrian Freedom Party (FPÖ) and the Alliance for the Future of Austria (BZÖ) won almost a third of all votes nationwide in 2008. What explains this outpouring of popular support for the Austrian extreme right? Using pooled time-series analysis of all 121 administrative districts (Bezirke) for all post 1990 general elections as well as all 43 political districts (Regionalwahlkreise) for the same period, we examine eight district-level structural indicators, which are commonly associated with extreme right-wing support: center right vote, turnout, unemployment, number of foreigners, population density, percentage of single parent households and a dummy variable for Carinthia, as well as the vote for the moderate left. We find that the extreme right gains are related to the poorer performance of center parties (especially the right) and, to a lesser degree, high voter turnout. Geographically, the extreme right support is highest in more rural areas that have fewer immigrants and high social cohesion.
  • Article
    Full-text available
    • Kevin Dunn
      Kevin Dunn
    • Karin Maeder-Han
    • Danielle Pelleri
    The issue of racist violence appeared in the Australian media and politics in mid-2009 following a spate of attacks on international students in Melbourne and Sydney. The racist aspect of these attacks was downplayed, authorities describing them as ‘opportunistic’ and a ‘regrettable fact of urban life’. The denial of racism is a familiar hallmark of contemporary racism; for some scholars, it is a defining criterion of what has been called the ‘new racism’. But the denial of racism around the attacks on Indian international students also had an economic imperative. Negative media coverage within India posed a substantial threat to the AUS$18.6 billion international education export market, with potential students and sponsors becoming concerned about their security should they elect to study in Australia. Data from the Challenging Racism project provide compelling evidence on the racist context of the attacks. The Indian media and politicians maintained an outraged position on the attacks, affecting student interest in Australia. And as the substantial economic costs became clearer, Australian governments came to more openly acknowledge a racist element to the attacks, also hinting at structural issues regarding community relations and attitudes which required policy attention.
  • Article
    • Manlio Cinalli
    • Marco Giugni
      Marco Giugni
    This article engages with the systematic analysis of two main dimensions of political opportunities—namely institutional opportunities and discursive opportunities—so as to appraise their impact upon claim-making in the field of Islam. We account for cross-national variations of claim-making in terms of (1) visibility of Muslims, (2) use of collective action, and (3) salience of cultural issues in five main European countries of Muslim settlement, that is Britain, France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Switzerland. In addition, we propose a conceptual framework that tackles a crucial conundrum that one finds in the scholarly literature, namely the variable (dis)alignment that may exist between the restrictive/expansionist stance of institutions and policy actors on the one hand and the restrictive/expansionist discursive position that prevails in the public domain on the other hand. Emphasis is also placed on a number of unexpected findings, such as the divergence between Britain and the Netherlands, the not so universalistic approach of French republicanism, and the small steps that Germany has walked towards multiculturalism.
  • Article
    Full-text available
    • Katrine Fangen
      Katrine Fangen
    This article discusses the importance of separate women's organizations in militant groups of the far right. The analysis suggests that the existence of a separate women's group has not only enhanced the respect the members feel for themselves and each other, but has been successful in eliciting greater respect from their male counterparts, resulting in the women receiving greater responsibility in the organization. The article is based on participant observations and on interviews with activists in the militant far‐right underground in Norway. It assumes that the need for separate women's organizations in the rightist underground reflects a pre‐existing dissatisfaction with conditions and opportunities for females in a highly male‐dominated environment.