By Jörg Flecker
This publication investigates the interaction of the hot transformation of operating lifestyles and the starting to be allure of political right-wing populism and extremism in Europe. It explores the person and collective reactions and the ideas humans boost to be able to come to phrases with socio-economic switch. It increases the query of no matter if, and to what quantity, alterations within the employment approach and in operating lifestyles give a contribution to creating humans receptive to xenophobia, nationalism and racism. In bringing jointly those fields of analysis, this quantity makes an important contribution to the deeper realizing of the subjective reactions to socio-economic swap and its political reverberations.
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Additional info for Changing Working Life and the Appeal of the Extreme Right (Contemporary Employment Relations)
In this sense, foreigners become the ‘others’ because they endanger the imagined homogeneous community of nationals, but also because they embody all the insecurities of the future (Wimmer 2000). Xenophobia is seen as a response to perceived competition with immigrants over work and social benefits and is an appeal to a national unity in order to preserve the privileges for the nationals. Welfare chauvinism is another concept tackling this phenomenon. Some authors – taking the perspective of the rational choice paradigm – reject this thesis (Nannestad 1999).
Especially when xenophobia is high, the anti-immigration issue is not a reliable basis: right-wing populist and extremist parties have been more successful in countries with a small foreign-born population (Karapin 1998, 224). Yet questions related to immigration are cited among others as causes for the advancement of right-wing populism and extremism. Most of the time, the theories related to immigration are close to those of fear or frustration. The (real or perceived) threats with regard to immigration are – according to the literature – as follows: • • • • threat to personal safety; threat to the culture; threat to the welfare state; threat to the job security.
However, it is clear that socio-economic changes are one among several reasons for the strengthening of right-wing populism and extremism. We have seen that the incapacity of the established parties to answer the new questions related to these changes may also have pushed some towards right-wing populism and extremism. When looking at theories considering cultural dimensions and related identity processes as central, we found that nationalistic, exclusive positions are also reactions to the loss of social ties, and a ‘multi-culturalization’ of modern societies.