Anti-Islam campaign in Amsterdam, Netherlands (2016) Photo: Guido van Nispen (CC BY 2.0).
Castelli Gattinara, P. & Froio, C. (2024), When the Far Right Makes the News: Protest Characteristics and Media Coverage of Far-Right Mobilization in Europe. Comparative Political Studies. 57(3): 419-452.

When the far right makes the news

Protest characteristics and media coverage of far-right mobilization in Europe
When do the media cover far-right protests? News coverage matters for the entrenchment of the far right in contemporary democracies, but little comparative research has looked at what drives news attention to far-right mobilization. We apply a classic input–output process model of news selection bias to test the hypothesis that the visibility of far-right protests events depends on the characteristics of protest initiators, type of action, and reactions. We appraise this via logistic regressions on an original dataset of 5972 protest events retrieved from online press releases by far-right groups (input) and national quality newspapers (output) in 11 European countries (2008–2018). The analysis confirms that news media are particularly responsive to contentious action, protest around migration issues, and action–reaction chains between political opponents. Our findings shed light on the role of news organizations in the success of the far-right and on the pathways by which these movements shape public agendas.
Castelli Gattinara, P., Froio, C. and Pirro, A.L.P. (2022), Far-right protest mobilisation in Europe: Grievances, opportunities and resources. European Journal of Political Research, 61: 1019-1041.

Far-right protest mobilisation in Europe

Grievances, opportunities and resources
What explains far-right mobilisation in the protest arena? After decades of growing electoral support and policy influence, the far right is experiencing an increase in grassroots mobilisation. Scholars of social movements and political parties have devoted little attention to the determinants of far-right protest mobilisation in Europe. In this article, we bridge previous research on the far right and social movements to advance hypotheses on the drivers of far-right protest mobilisation based on grievances, opportunities and resource mobilisation models. We use an original dataset combining novel data on 4,845 far-right protest events in 11 East and West European countries (2008–2018), with existing measures accounting for the (political, economic and cultural) context of mobilisation. We find that classical approaches to collective action can be fruitfully applied to the study of the far right. Cultural grievances, notably concerns about immigration, as well as the availability of institutional access points in contexts characterised by divided government increase far-right protest mobilisation. But far-right protest mobilisation also rests on the organisational resources available to nativist collective actors, that is, the network in which they are embedded, their visibility in the media and elected officials. These findings have important implications to understand far-right success in advanced democracies. They show that far-right mobilisation in the protest arena not only rests on favourable circumstances, but also on whether far-right actors can profit from them. More broadly, the study links party politics and social movement research to grasp the far right's modes of political contestation, locating research on this phenomenon at the intersection of political sociology and comparative politics.
Castelli Gattinara, P. & Froio, C. (2022) Politicizing Europe on the far right: Anti-EU mobilization across the party and non-party sector in France, Social Movement Studies, 21:1-2, 199-215

Politicizing Europe on the far right

Anti-EU mobilization across the party and non-party sector in France
This article examines public contestation of Europe by the far right in France. It investigates whether far-right mobilization on the EU has changed over time, and how it diverges in the party and non-party sectors. Specifically, we follow a politicization approach and address mobilization in terms of three interrelated dimensions: intensity, issue focus, and action repertoire. This allows comparing collective action in the electoral and protest arenas, thus assessing how the far right politicizes Europe in public debates. The study relies on a mixed quantitative and qualitative analysis of the content of the press releases posted by far-right parties and movements on their official websites, scraped automatically from 2012 to 2019. The results show that European integration is increasingly at the core of far-right politics in France, but its politicization unfolds in different ways in the protest and electoral arenas. As political conflict over the EU expands, far-right parties and non-party actors are challenged to differentiate their respective profiles. These findings complement existing research on the linkages between protest and elections, and suggest that the rooting of the far right in society is reconfiguring the structure of political conflict in Europe.
Froio, C. (2022). Right-wing Populism and Populist Movements. In The Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Social and Political Movements (eds D.A. Snow, D. Porta, B. Klandermans and D. McAdam).

Right-wing populism and populist movements

The Wiley Blackwell encyclopedia of social and political movements
Right-wing populism (RWP) refers to a populist form of the right. If the political right broadly identifies those actors and ideologies that, according to Norberto Bobbio's classic definition, consider that inequalities between people are natural and that the state should not intervene to curb them, populism is still a contested concept. While disagreement exists on whether it constitutes an ideology, a style, or a communication strategy, a minimalist definition qualifies populism as a Manichean distinction between the “good people” and the “corrupt elites,” and the belief that politics is about respecting the general will of the people. Hence, right-wing populism can be understood as a belief in a political order with natural inequalities not only between the “people” and the “elites,” but also between the “people” themselves. RWP includes but it is not limited to the populist radical-right, which can be distinguished because its core ideological features are nativism (or ethnocentrism) – a combination of nationalism and xenophobia – and authoritarianism, the belief in a strictly ordered society where infringements to the radical right's moral standards must be punished. RWP politicians may also present religion and religious identities as a constitutive feature of the native culture (like Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Turkey and Jarosław Kaczyński in Poland).
Castelli Gattinara, P. (2022). Identitarian Movements, Right-wing. In The Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Social and Political Movements (eds D.A. Snow, D. Porta, B. Klandermans and D. McAdam).

Identitarian movement

The Wiley Blackwell encyclopedia of social and political movements
The Identitarian movement is a transnational far-right network of activists mobilising against globalization, immigration and Islam in Europe. Its origins are rooted in the French intellectual movement Nouvelle Droite (New Right, ND), which became influential for having tried to repackage the belief in hierarchical racial differences to avoid the stigma of interwar Fascism. Contemporary Identitarian activism surfaced in the early 2000s, as these ideas inspired action-oriented groups like the French Bloc Identitaire-Mouvement Social Européen (Identitarian Bloc-European Social Movement, BI) and the Italian CasaPound (now CasaPound Italia, CPI). Over the years, the Identitarians have established themselves as a transnational movement mobilising on European ethno-national identity via a branded set of symbols, campaigns, activist groups, think-tanks, sporting clubs, clothing labels, publishers and much else. Most notably, the youth wing of BI Generation Identity set up regional chapters in several European countries (including Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Netherlands and UK). Groups modelled after the European movement emerged also in Australia, New Zealand and North America, but the connections between them remain limited. Today, the Identitarian movement represents one of the most active global networks within the contemporary far right .
Castelli Gattinara, P. (2020) The study of the far right and its three E’s: why scholarship must go beyond Eurocentrism, Electoralism and Externalism. Fr Polit 18, 314–333.

The study of the far right and its three E’s

Why scholarship must go beyond Eurocentrism, Electoralism and Externalism
Over the past decades, the far right has become one of the most studied phenomena in international political science, attracting more attention than all other party families combined. This article critically assesses the scholarly progress made so far and discusses what future research on the far right should focus on. It argues that although the number of studies has grown disproportionately, scholars have been slow in acknowledging that far-right politics have entered a new phase, where traditional aspects progressively lost momentum and new ones acquired central stage. To understand the transformations in the contemporary far right, scholars must address three shortcomings of international comparative research—Eurocentrism, Electoralism and Externalism. Today, we need to re-embed the study of the far right into the broader literature on party politics and political sociology, acknowledging the diversity that exists within the far right, its diffusion beyond (western) Europe and its mobilization outside the electoral arena.
Castelli Gattinara, P. & Zamponi, L. (2020) Politicizing support and opposition to migration in France: the EU asylum policy crisis and direct social activism, Journal of European Integration, 42:5, 625-641

Politicizing support and opposition to migration in France

The EU asylum policy crisis and direct social activism
This article focuses on the migration policy crisis in France to illustrate how social movements contribute to the epistemic construction of ‘crises’ of European Integration. To tackle politicization, we compare the framing and mobilization choices by grassroots actors in solidarity with asylum-seekers and groups aiming to defend national borders from them. Using original Protest Event data and 21 face-to-face interviews, we find that the construction of the crisis as a policy failure crucially reshaped mobilization on both sides of the conflict. Specifically, direct social actions allowed the two camps to respond to a context perceived as critical, politicizing the crisis in light of the declining trust in representative institutions, while also responding to the growing demand for efficacy and concreteness. The findings offer novel empirical insight on movement–countermovement interactions and contribute to the scholarly debate on the relation between crises and the politicisation of contentious issues in Europe.