Epistemologies of ignorance in far right studies: the invisibilisation of racism and whiteness in times of populist hype

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Research on the far right has been a booming field for decades now, with far-right parties generally being much more researched than their right, centre and left counterparts, even when they are marginal in terms of politics or electoral support. Yet, for a field that is notorious for its lively definitional debates and tendency to evolve and reinvent itself terminologically, it has appeared unwilling to engage with the concepts of race, racism and whiteness, or with its very positioning in political structures.
Through a mixed-methods discursive approach, this article analyses the titles and abstracts of all articles published in peer-reviewed journal in the sub-field of far right studies between 2016 and 2021 (n=2543) to highlight which terms and concepts are primed and which are obscured. This article highlights a tendency to prime euphemising terms and concepts such as ‘populism’ and avoid those which engage with systemic and structural forms of oppression such as racism and whiteness. This article thus aims to both map and make sense of the absence of whiteness and racism in the corpus by arguing that it is a symbol of the ongoing presence of colourblind approaches and a lack of reckoning with the scale and pervasion of systemic racism in contemporary societies.
Original languageEnglish
JournalActa Politica
Early online date19 Nov 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 19 Nov 2022

Keywords

  • Discourse
  • Far right
  • Populism
  • Racism
  • Whiteness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Political Science and International Relations

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