Call for Papers - Political geographies of the far-right: The environment, space and resistance

2022-01-14

Nordia Geographical Publications Theme Issue

 

POLITICAL GEOGRAPHIES OF THE FAR-RIGHT: THE ENVIRONMENT, SPACE AND RESISTANCE 

 

Sonja Pietiläinen & Ville Kellokumpu (eds.)

 

The new wave of far-right parties, movements, and individuals have transformed Western politics since the 1980s and have recently also gained global prominence (see, Rydgren 2018). The key characteristics of the far-right are ethnonationalism, racism, and authoritarianism (Rydgren 2018; Mudde 2007; Malm & the Zetkin Collective 2021), and it is an inherently geographical political phenomenon (Ince 2019). The far-right’s politics advance the hardening of borders, restoring social hierarchies, and purification of spaces and the national body politic from the ‘unwanted’ others, such as political opponents, migrants, and racialised and sexual minorities.

Intensifying ecological and climate crises have forced ideological reorganisations throughout different political spectrums, and also the far-right has found a slew of different (and often contradictory) answers to these crises. It is more a rule than an exception that the far-right parties and movements deny climate change, practice anti-climate and anti-environmentalist politics, and advance ecological destruction (Gemenis 2012; Bosworth 2021; Malm & Zetkin Collective 2021). However, the far-right has also intertwined nature with their fascist and nationalist politics (Hultgren 2015; Forchtner 2019; Turner and Bailey 2021). Indeed, whilst clinging tightly to fossil fuels and Western consumer lifestyles and privileges (Daggett 2018), the far-right also draws on Malthusianism, German romanticism, and ecofascism in promoting solutions for ecological crises, such as border walls, population control of the ‘undesired’, and revitalizing blood-and-soil connections between ‘the nation’ and ‘nature’ (Forchtner 2019; Menga 2021; Turner and Bailey 2021). 

Whilst there is a growing body of research on the political ecologies of the far-right (Bosworth 2021; Malm & Zetkin Collective 2021; McCarthy 2019; Menga 2021; Neimark et al. 2019), less attention has been paid to the intersection of the far-right and the environment within political geography. This is surprising because political geography has long shown interest in spatial imaginaries and the environment in National Socialist geopolitics (Bassin 1987; Giaccaria & Minca 2016). As such, this theme issue encourages contributors to explore the intersection of the far-right and the environment through a spatial and geographical lens. What are the spatial ontologies of the contemporary far-right parties and movements and what role does the environment play in them? How do the far-right's environmental and climate politics vary in different spatio-temporal contexts? What kind of social and spatial relations do they advance and what role does class, gender and race play in these politics? What role do geopolitics, borders and territories (Belina 2020; Ingram 2017) play in the far-right’s environmental agenda? 

In the backlight of environmentalism's dark history, the relationship between racism and environmentalism is not new (Hultgren 2015). Far-right ideologies and politics are gaining influence and, thus, the solutions provided by the far-right for the ecological and climate crisis pose serious challenges to building anti-racist ecological futures. It is important to understand the far-right’s movements’ ideologies and politics, but even more crucial is to develop resistance strategies. As such, the theme issue also encourages contributions that examine anti-fascist geographies (Ince 2019) in times of surging far-right and intensifying ecological crises. What new challenges do far-right’s climate denialism and green nationalism/ecofascism pose to climate and anti-fascist movements, strategies and mobilisations? How can anti-climate and ecofascist politics be challenged and resisted through activism and research? How can geographers best act and collaborate beyond the academy in building anti-fascist and anti-racist ecological futures? 

We welcome articles and interventions from academics and activists that examine the geographies of the far-right and anti-fascism in any spatial and scalar context. 


Possible topics can include, but are not limited to, the following: 

 

  • Spatial ontologies of the contemporary far-right parties and movements: the interconnections between space, nature and ‘race’
  • Climate denialism and fossil fascism (Malm & Zetkin Collective 2021)
  • Connections between the far-right and capital accumulation, the politics of infrastructure
  • Transnational cooperation and (environmental) policy transfer between far-right parties and movements 
  • Resource nationalism and protectionism (Koch & Perreault 2019)
  • Place-making through the nationalisation of nature (Olsen 1999; Forchtner 2019; Antonsich 2021), the romanticisation of nature and landscapes (Forchtner and Kølvraa 2015)
  • Migration as an environmental threat, border control as an environmental act, and ecobordering (Turner & Bailey 2021)
  • Bio- and geopolitics of population growth, neo-Malthusianism in far-right politics (Hultgren 2015)
  • Gender and sexuality, petromasculinity (Daggett 2018), industrial/breadwinner masculinities (Hultman & Pulé 2019), white border guard masculinities (Keskinen 2013)
  • Scales of far-right politics (Casaglia et al. 2020): urban-rural divisions and global core/periphery relations 
  • Conceptualisation and theorisation of ecofascism (Thomas & Gosink 2021), far-right ecology (Lubarda 2019) and green nationalism (Conversi & Friis Hau 2021; Hamilton 2002) 
  • Anti-immigration, nationalism and racism in climate and environmental movements 
  • Social movement geographies, anti-racist and anti-fascist strategies and mobilisation (Braskén, Copsey & Featherstone 2020; Ince 2019, Santamarina 2021) in environmental and climate movements 

 

The contributions can take the form of:

  • Peer reviewed research articles (ca. 6000–9000 words), academic essays or review articles (ca. 3000–6000 words)
  • Editorially reviewed interventions, discussions or debates that seek to clarify and outline relevant issues related to the theme (ca. 2000–4000 words) 

Please note the following when submitting your manuscript:  

  • Submit your preliminary title and abstract of maximum 300 words to the editors at sonja.pietilainen@oulu.fi and ville.kellokumpu@oulu.fi by 31.3.2022
  • After the title and abstract deadline you will be notified whether your paper has been accepted to theme issue
  • Submit your final manuscript through the nordia.journal.fi system by 31.8.2022
  • Writing language is English and the author is responsible for proof-reading the manuscript
  • Please follow the instructions on formatting the text, tables, figures and bibliography from the Author Guidelines -page of the journal website
  • In case of problems and questions do not hesitate to contact the editors

 

References

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Bassin M (1987) Imperialism and the nation state in Friedrich Ratzel’s political geography. Progress in Human Geography 11(4): 473–495. https://doi.org/10.1177/030913258701100401 

Belina B (2020) Political geography lecture: Social forms, spatial forms, and the New Right. Celebrating Capital at 150 and explaining the rise of the AfD. Political Geography 81, 102091.

Bosworth K (2021) Populism and the rise of the far right: Two different problems for political ecology. Political Geography 102531. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.polgeo.2021.102531 

Braskén K, Copsey N & Featherstone DJ (2020; eds.) Anti-fascism in a Global Perspective: Transnational Networks, Exile Communities, and Radical Internationalism. Routledge, Abingdon.

Casaglia A, Coletti R, Lizotte C, Agnew J, Mamadouh V & Minca C (2020) Interventions on European nationalist populism and bordering in time of emergencies. Political Geography 82, 102238.

Conversi D & Friis Hau M (2021) Green nationalism. Climate action and environmentalism in left nationalist parties. Environmental Politics 30(7): 1089–1110. https://doi.org/10.1080/09644016.2021.1907096 

Daggett C (2018) Petro-masculinity: Fossil fuels and authoritarian desire. Millennium: Journal of International Studies 47(1): 25–44.

Forchtner B (2019, ed.) The Far Right and the Environment: Politics, Discourse and Communication. Routledge, Abingdon.

Forchtner B & Kølvraa C (2015) The nature of nationalism: Populist radical right parties on countryside and climate. Nature and Culture 10(2): 199–224.

Gemenis K, Katsanidou A & Vasilopoulou S (2012) The politics of anti-environmentalism: positional issue framing by the European radical right. MPSA Annual Conference, 12–15 April, 2012: 12-15.

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Hultgren J (2015) Border Walls Gone Green: Nature and anti-immigrant politics in America. University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis. 

Hultman M & Pulé PM (2018) Ecological masculinities: Theoretical foundations and practical guidance. Routledge, Abingdon.

Ince A (2019) Fragments of an anti‐fascist geography: Interrogating racism, nationalism, and state power. Geography Compass 13(3): e12420. https://doi.org/10.1111/gec3.12420

Ingram A (2017) Geopolitical events and fascist machines: Trump, Brexit and the deterritorialisation of the West. Political Geography 57: 91–93. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.polgeo.2016.12.003 

Keskinen S (2013) Antifeminism and White Identity Politics: Political antagonisms in radical right-wing populist and anti-immigration rhetoric in Finland. Nordic Journal of Migration Research 3(4): 225–232. http://doi.org/10.2478/njmr-2013-0015

Koch N & Perreault T (2019) Resource nationalism. Progress in Human Geography 43(4): 611–631. https://doi.org/10.1177/0309132518781497 

Lubarda B (2020) Beyond ecofascism? Far-right ecologism (FRE) as a framework for future inquiries. Environmental Values 29(6): 713-732. https://doi.org/10.3197/096327120X15752810323922 

Malm A & Zetkin Collective (2021) White Skin, Black Fuel: On the Danger of Fossil Fascism. Verso Books, London.

McCarthy J (2019) Authoritarianism, Populism, and the Environment: Comparative Experiences, Insights, and Perspectives. Annals of the American Association of Geographers 109(2): 301–313. https://doi.org/10.1080/24694452.2018.1554393 

Menga F (2021) Virtual Forum introduction: Populist ecologies: Nature, nationalism, and authoritarianism. Political Geography 102549. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.polgeo.2021.102549 

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Olsen J (1999) Nature and nationalism: Right-wing ecology and the politics of identity in contemporary Germany. Palgrave Macmillan, London.

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Santamarina A (2021) The spatial politics of far-right populism: VOX, anti-fascism and neighbourhood solidarity in Madrid City. Critical Sociology 47(6): 891–905. https://doi.org/10.1177/0896920520962562

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Turner J & Bailey D (2021) ‘Ecobordering’: casting immigration control as environmental protection. Environmental Politics. https://doi.org/10.1080/09644016.2021.1916197