Pegida as a European Far-Right Populist Movement

in German Politics and Society

Historian Geoff Eley argues that the idea of Europe has contracted from the ideal of a pluralistic community with the potential to integrate cultural “Others” to a “narrowly understood market-defined geopolitical drive for the purposes of competitive globalization.” Global deregulation, he states, has produced streams of labor migrants and the tightening of Europe’s external borders, while the economic expansion of Europe to more member countries since 1992 has opened up new divisions and inequalities among them. Aftereffects from the break-up of the East bloc can be felt in the escalation of antiminority violence in Central and Eastern Europe, as well as “the smouldering slow burn of the legacies of colonialism” in Western Europe. These diverse pressures and anxieties coalesce on the spectral figure of the Islamic fundamentalist at Europe’s gates.

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