Carnegie Council Announces the Publication of "Eurasianism and the European Far Right: Reshaping the Europe–Russia Relationship"
September 30, 2015
Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs is pleased to announce the publication of Eurasianism and the European Far Right, which marks the culmination of an intensive, two-year project spearheaded by the Council's U.S. Global Engagement Program (USGE).
This penetrating book examines the European far-right's connections with Russia and untangles this puzzle by tracing the ideological origins and individual paths that have materialized in this permanent dialogue between Russia and Europe. It is edited by Marlene Laruelle, associate director at the Institute for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies (IERES) and research professor of international affairs at George Washington University.
In 2013, the Council commissioned a study of the rise of new Far Right extremist movements in Europe; this involved a team of ten scholar experts from nine European countries. "The Council played a decision role in initiating and then bringing to a fruitful result the project on the Russian-European Far Right connections," said Laruelle. "Without its participation we wouldn't have been able to get such a support and so regular opportunities to meet and work as a collective."
"What is of great significance are the ways in which the project evolved over time," said Carnegie Council Senior Fellow and USGE Director David C. Speedie. "First, since the USGE program has a primary focus on Russia, we began by looking at the new Eurasianist movement in that country—part of a nationalist impulse to include countries of the former Soviet space and Asia in a strategic counterbalance to the so-called 'Atlanticist' alliance led by the United States. We discovered in short order, however, that the leaders of the Eurasianist cause had strong links to ultra-right forces across Europe, including France, Italy, and Greece.
"Second, while not making claims of clairvoyance, the series of crises that have buffeted Europe since the launch of our project—notably the Eurozone and the growing challenge of immigrant refugees from beyond the continent—have both deepened the divisions within the European Union and sharpened the message of the far-Right, typically anti-immigrant, xenophobic elements."
In this sense, the book is just one milestone along the way of the Council's ongoing exploration of forces and issues that threaten European democratic polity. And, according to Speedie, there are at least three reasons for the United States to be attentive to, and concerned by, such developments:
First, said Speedie, regardless of "pivots" to other parts of the globe, Europe remains our closest, densest cluster of allies—both the traditional partners such as the United Kingdom, France and Germany, and the "new" Europe to the east. Second, the last century saw two cataclysmic events within a 25-year period, both of which engulfed Europe and into which the United States was inevitably drawn. While comparisons at this point with two world wars would be excessive, we cannot be oblivious to socio-economic and political stresses of the day. Third, these extremist forces do not stop at Europe's borders. There are clear and documented links between the European Far Right and the hate groups across the United States.
Eurasianism and the European Far Right: Reshaping the Europe–Russia Relationship is published by Lexington Books.