Far-right protest mobilisation in Europe: Grievances, opportunities and resources

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Auteur
Pietro Castelli Gattinara in collaboration with Caterina Froio and Andrea Pirro
Année
2021
Edition
The European Consortium for Political Research

New paper out in the European Journal of Political Research.

Abstract


What explains far-right mobilisation in the protest arena? After decades of growing electoral support and policy influence, the far right is experiencing an increase in grassroots mobilisation. Scholars of social movements and political parties have devoted little attention to the determinants of far-right protest mobilisation in Europe. In this article, we bridge previous research on the far right and social movements to advance hypotheses on the drivers of far-right protest mobilisation based on grievances, opportunities and resource mobilisation models. We use an original dataset combining novel data on 4,845 far-right protest events in 11 East and West European countries (2008–2018), with existing measures accounting for the (political, economic and cultural) context of mobilisation. We find that classical approaches to collective action can be fruitfully applied to the study of the far right. Cultural grievances, notably concerns about immigration, as well as the availability of institutional access points in contexts characterised by divided government increase far-right protest mobilisation. But far-right protest mobilisation also rests on the organisational resources available to nativist collective actors, that is, the network in which they are embedded, their visibility in the media and elected officials. These findings have important implications to understand far-right success in advanced democracies. They show that far-right mobilisation in the protest arena not only rests on favourable circumstances, but also on whether far-right actors can profit from them. More broadly, the study links party politics and social movement research to grasp the far right's modes of political contestation, locating research on this phenomenon at the intersection of political sociology and comparative politics.