The Men and Women of the Polish and Czech Parliamentary Far Right

“We defend the normal world!”: The Men and Women of the Polish and Czech Parliamentary Far Right

1st session of CEFRES in-house seminar
Through the presentation of works in progress, CEFRES’s Seminar aims at raising and discussing issues about methods, approaches or concepts, in a multidisciplinary spirit, allowing everyone to confront her or his own perspectives with the research presented.

Location: CEFRES Library
Date: Tuesday, 7th of February
Language: English
Contact: cefres[@]

Adrien Beauduin (CEU/CEFRES)

This thesis focuses on far right enrolment and mobilisation in the political parties Konfederacja (Confederation) in Poland and Svoboda a přímá demokracie (Freedom and Direct Democracy) in Czechia. Drawing from the analysis of audio-visual and written material, as well as on-site observation and thirty-eight one-on-one interviews with far right parliamentary party activists, I interrogate the ways these political parties enroll members and mobilise voters. I particularly focus on the role played by gender and sexuality in the members’ and parties’ mobilisation and ideological articulations. This analysis offers comparative insights into the ways these political parties have been recruiting members, agitating voters and promoting particular viewpoints. I argue that the studied far right parties’ appeal rests on a radical criticism of post-89 politics, including the challenge – or outright rejection – of liberal and emancipatory approaches to questions of gender and sexuality. Despite these similarities, the Polish and Czech cases widely differ in the ways they express and exploit socio-political discontent, showing the limitations of macro-level explanations of the global, European or ‘East’ European far right. As I show, historical ideological legacies, mobilising structures, local socio-political developments, and party competition are producing different dynamics of far right mobilisation in the two countries, including on questions of gender and sexuality.

See the complete program of the seminar here.