Europe’s Far Right on the Rise

Defending Democracy, Promoting Alternatives
Panels and Discussions

European polities are facing a challenge from the far right unprecedented in the post-WW2 era. This new fascism is well financed, transnational and intent on turning the clock backwards on democracy, human rights, and the freedoms of minorities. They also often promote climate change denial at this dangerous moment for the ecological future of our planet, wrapping this up in a narrative of opposition to ‘experts’ and ‘elites’. Capitalising on xenophobic attitudes, and promoting a politics attune to a sense of lost ethnic privilege and resentment, the rise of the far right poses a major challenge for democratic and progressive forces. How do we analyse the causes of far right radicalisation? What steps can we take to address this ‘politics of fear’? And what alternatives are needed? And how can civil society and progressive parties respond?  This event brought together campaigners, journalists, academics and politicians from across Europe in a reflective dialogue on these questions.

The format is ‘in conversation’ rather than speeches and the event was broadcasted as part of the Another Europe podcast (available on all major podcast platforms).


  • Ruth Wodak is Emeritus Distinguished Professor at Lancaster University and the University of Vienna, and author of The Politics of Fear (Sage, 2015).
  • Zoe Williams is a journalist at the Guardian (UK), the co-host of the Another Europe podcast, and a leading figure in the anti-Brexit movement.
  • Luke Cooper is a Europe’s Futures Visiting Fellow at the IWM, a senior lecturer in International Politics at Anglia Ruskin (UK) and co-host of the Another Europe podcast.
  • Rafał Pankowski is an associate professor at Collegium Civitas in Warsaw, deputy editor of Nigdy Wiecej (Never Again) magazine and author of The Populist Radical Right in Poland (Routledge, 2010).

The event and podcast have been produced in collaboration with Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung, Brussels Office. Funded by the German Federal Foreign Office.