The rise of the extreme right in France and Germany and the problem of immigration

Medellin, Gabriela (1998) The rise of the extreme right in France and Germany and the problem of immigration. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

The breakthrough of the extreme right during the last decade is a phenomenon that has gathered attention worldwide. This thesis examines the rise of the extreme right in France and Germany and the problem of immigration. -- The present study analyses the extreme right placed in a historical context. First through a consideration of the evolution of the extreme right in the early years of the post-war period, its minor presence from the late 1950s to the 1980s, and the rise of the extreme right during the last decade with the appearance of the Front National and the Republikaner. The analysis of immigration considers patterns of Western European immigration, new trends in European migration, the increase of racism and xenophobia directed towards immigrants, and the perceptions of some Western Europeans regarding national identity, economy and immigration. The thesis focuses upon the Front National and the Republikaner, particularly their electoral performance, their appeal and their supporters. -- The study attempts to determine the influence that the immigration problem has had in explaining the rise of the extreme right. The thesis considers whether or not the problem of immigration explains the rise of the extreme right; ways in which the extreme right has linked immigration and socio-economic problems, and the extent to which immigration, as opposed to other factors, provides an explanation for the rise of the extreme right in France and Germany. -- The thesis argues that immigration is a leading causal factor in explaining the vote for the extreme right. However, the relationship is complex. Nevertheless three conclusions emerge: first, immigration is an issue that appeals to a substantial portion of the population and the extreme right has been successful at exploiting it and crystallizing the fears of some sectors of the population. Second, xenophobia is an important element in explaining the rise of the extreme right. Immigration is associated with the presence of immigrants from non-European countries. Immigrants have become the symbol for a complex pattern of concerns of some native Western Europeans. Third, problems associated with immigration also account for the rise of the extreme right. The problem of immigration is related to a crisis of multiculturalism that seems to be taking place in some Western European societies. Immigration is also associated with unemployment. Some marginalized sectors of the population see immigrants as competitors for social services and employment. Thus, as long as the problem of immigration is not resolved and the problems associated with it continue, the potential for the success of the extreme right will remain.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/789
Item ID: 789
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 99-106
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Political Science
Date: 1998
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: France; Germany
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Right-wing extremism--France; Right-wing extremism--Germany; France--Emigration and immigration--Political aspects; Germany--Emigration and immigration--Political aspects

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