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Far-Right Movements in Contemporary Australia: An Introduction

Abstract

The introduction gives a short overview of the various far-right groups and actions in Australia over the past decades, arguing that far-right movements have not been as visible in Australia as they have been in Europe and North America. The contemporary era, however, has witnessed a rising moral panic around the place of Islam in Australia, which has created a fertile environment for the emergence of new far-right groups. The resurgence of an emboldened far-right in Australia has been a development that has taken communities and policymakers by surprise. Australian scholarship was also ill-prepared, with research on the Australian far-right remaining conceptually and empirically underdeveloped. This introduction outlines how the individual chapters seek to address these academic knowledge gaps and contribute to making sense of the far-right in Australia.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    In 2017, the Journal of Intercultural Studies published the special issue ‘After Cronulla’. It brought together a number of academic papers, presented at a conference, jointly organised by Deakin and Western Sydney Universities in December 2015 on the 10th anniversary of the Cronulla riots. According to the editors, the special issue sets out to explore three interconnected issues: ‘the constructions of race, processes of racialisation and manifestations of racism’, ‘meanings of nationalism’ and ‘everyday intercultural relations’ (Johns et al. 2017: 252). The introduction chapter is tellingly entitled: ‘Where the Bloody Hell Are We Now?’ (Johns et al. 2017). While several articles in this special issue dedicate some paragraphs to discussing far-right groups, none of them seeks to systematically explores far-right movements in Australia.

  2. 2.

    Only in late 2018, when Hanson distanced herself from the public statements of her former party colleague, Senator Fraser Anning, who used Nazi terminology (‘final solution’) to implicitly call for a return to some form of White Australia immigration policies, her One Nation party fell into disgrace with several far-right figures and groups, who switched their political loyalties to Anning and his newly founded and more radical right-wing party, the Fraser Anning’s Conservative National Party.

  3. 3.

    Stevie Voogt (2017) discusses far-right online recruitment and messaging in Australia not from an academic but rather from the perspective of a practitioner who has been involved in the project CAPE, aimed at countering right-wing extremism online.

  4. 4.

    There are a number of researchers who are currently undertaking empirical research on various facets of the far-right in Australia, and many of them have contributed chapters to this book. We expect the pertinent research landscape to expand significantly in the not so far future. We consider this book to be part of this emerging empirical scholarship.

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Peucker, M., Smith, D. (2019). Far-Right Movements in Contemporary Australia: An Introduction. In: Peucker, M., Smith, D. (eds) The Far-Right in Contemporary Australia. Palgrave Macmillan, Singapore. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-13-8351-9_1

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