Extremism and Democracy

Standing Group

Established 1999

Number of members: 226

Convenor

  • Andrea L. P. Pirro (Scuola Normale Superiore)
  • Sarah De Lange (University of Amsterdam)
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About

The Standing Group provides a platform and infrastructure to the broad range of scholars working on various aspects of ‘extremism and democracy’ around the world. This includes topics such as political violence, religious fundamentalism, parties of the radical left and right, populism, fascism etc. The Standing Group is academically neutral and provides a meeting ground for scholars from various theoretical persuasions and disciplines, although our main focus is on the political aspects of extremism. We particularly welcome scholars who work in a comparative spirit and who focus on the (inter-)relation between extremism and democracy.

Aims & Objectives

The Standing Group provides a platform and infrastructure to the broad range of scholars working on various aspects of 'extremism and democracy' around the world. We welcome scholars from fields such as sociology, (social) psychology or (contemporary) history. However, as a Standing Group of the ECPR, our main focus is on the political aspects of extremism. Moreover, and in keeping with the ECPR-tradition, we particularly welcome scholars who work in a comparative spirit.

The Standing Group is academically neutral and is not meant to become a battle ground for the unfortunate ideological clashes that have hampered much research on political extremism. Rather, it provides a meeting ground for serious scholars from all theoretical persuasions. Although we use the term 'extremism', we do not want to exclude scholars working with other terms to describe similar phenomena.

While most contemporary academic studies of extremism still study the phenomenon in isolation of its environment, the Standing Group's name indicates its interest in the political role of extremism, as well as the specifics of the phenomenon itself. We are therefore particularly interested in the (inter-)relation between extremism and democracy.

The remit of the Standing Group is broad:

  • We welcome scholars whose work is empirical and those who adopt political theoretical/philosophical approaches
  • We bring together colleagues who work on a vast range of topics and themes (including, protest, political violence, terrorism, religious fundamentalism, identity, nationalism, racism, immigration, Fascism and Nazism, political parties of right and left, elections and voting, etc.)
  • We aim to integrate scholars from all corners of the globe

Activities

  • The Standing Group maintains a searchable database that contains the contact information and research interests of Standing Group members. The database has proved to be a valuable resource to academics, students, and the media.
  • Since 2000, the Standing Group has also published a quarterly electronic newsletter, e-Extreme, which contains news from the profession, conference and workshop reviews, an extensive book review section, and which alerts scholars to recent publications.
  • The Standing Group aims to be represented at ECPR conferences (Joint Sessions, General Conferences, and Graduate Student Conferences) and organises Panels whenever possible.
  • Roger Eatwell and Matthew Goodwin edit the Routledge Book Series in Extremism and Democracy, in which members and non-members can publish research monographs and edited volumes that deal with questions of extremism and democracy.

"The less the power, the greater the desire to exercise it" - Bernard Levin


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