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Russia and the European Far Right

Shekhovtsov, Anton; (2018) Russia and the European Far Right. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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This thesis explores contemporary relations between various Russian actors and European far right ideologues, movements, organisations and parties. The thesis demonstrates that each side of this relationship is driven by evolving and, at times, circumstantial political and pragmatic considerations that involve, on the one hand, the need to attain or restore declining or deficient domestic or international legitimacy and, on the other hand, the ambition to reshape the apparently hostile domestic or international environments in accordance with one’s own interests. Introduction discusses the research background of the thesis, and outlines its conceptual framework, methodology and structure. Chapter 1 discusses pro-Russian elements of the European far right milieu before the Second World War. Chapter 2 looks at the active cooperation between Russian and Western far right politicians after the fall of the Soviet Union. Chapter 3 examines the right-wing authoritarian evolution of Vladimir Putin’s regime – an evolution that facilitated the deepening of the relations between Russian pro-Kremlin actors and the European far right. Chapters 4 and 5 consider two areas of dynamic cooperation between various Russian actors and European far right politicians and organisations aimed at supporting and consolidating alternative institutions that aim at challenging and undermining liberaldemocratic practices and traditions: electoral monitoring and the media. Chapter 6 looks at openly pro-Russian activities that Austrian, French and Italian far right parties have carried out in their national contexts, and identifies several types of operators who furthered cooperation between them and Russian actors. Chapter 7 explores the performance of European far right politicians on high-profile discussion platforms in Moscow and at sessions of the European Parliament in Strasbourg and Brussels, and analyses the narratives that they promote within these settings. Conclusion presents main findings of this research.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Russia and the European Far Right
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10047343
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