Far-right protest in times of crisis. ECPR SGEU (Universidade NOVA de Lisboa)

The far right is often seen to thrive in times of crisis. The close sequence of the Great Recession, the migration crisis, and the COVID-19 pandemic provide an unprecedented opportunity to delve into far-right collective actors’ (i.e. political parties and social movements) relationship with ‘crisis’. With our study, we are interested to ascertain whether and how far-right collective actors mobilised in the protest arena during the recent crises. Did the far right adapt to the crises or was it rather part of a broader, long-term process of transformation? To answer these questions, we deploy a new dataset on far-right protest events covering 10 European countries and the period 2008-2021 (N=4,440) to elicit and characterise these collective actors’ mobilisation at the non-institutional level. Looking at four aspects of far-right protest mobilisation (i.e. numerical, performative, thematic, and synergetic), we evince the dominance of incremental over contingent effects: instead of merely adapting to changing opportunities, the far right’s engagement in street politics hints at a long-term process of social penetration.