Shifting notions of the rural: Protests over traffic infrastructure and far-right normalization
Current far-right attitudes to the climate crisis are highly ambivalent, oscillating between the glorification of nature and ideological fragments of “fossil fascism”. Invocations of “the rural” serve as semantic mediations, enabling populist radical right parties (PRRPs) to apply seemingly frictionless and multi-scalar narratives of far-right ecology to rural protests. Applying relational and scale-sensitive approaches can help to disentangle how far-right discursive and political effort ties into and transforms spatial imaginaries. This paper discusses the role of rurality for populist scalar re-articulations and the impact of the latter on local communities. Drawing on findings from a qualitative longitudinal study in small towns in Brandenburg, Germany, the paper shows how local PRRP chapters create a specific notion of ‘rural rationality’ that helps to normalize far-right politics and politicians at the local scale, contrasting a proclaimed albeit abstract cordon sanitaire.
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Copyright (c) 2022 Valentin Domann
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