© 2017

Music, Youth and International Links in Post-War British Fascism

The Transformation of Extremism


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-x
  2. Ryan Shaffer
    Pages 1-15
  3. Ryan Shaffer
    Pages 17-59
  4. Ryan Shaffer
    Pages 61-105
  5. Ryan Shaffer
    Pages 157-219
  6. Ryan Shaffer
    Pages 221-271
  7. Ryan Shaffer
    Pages 329-336
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 337-351

About this book


This book examines the domestic evolution and international connections of post-war fascists in the United Kingdom. It argues that post-war British fascism became transnational as the radicals increasingly exchanged ideas, money and culture with like-minded foreigners. Drawing from interviews with key figures in several countries, it traces the history of the National Front and British National Party by focusing on the political parties’ youth, music and international outreach. It explores how post-war British fascism grew into an international movement, how fascist youth developed skinhead music as a conduit for their ideas, and how some of those same key figures made international connections with people in countries, such as Iraq, Libya, Syria and the United States. Moreover, it also draws from rare internal party documents, law enforcement records and membership lists to track foreign funding and the parties’ domestic electoral growth. For the first time, this book gained access to both the leadership and rank-and-file of the British National Party and National Front to explore its culture and international connections. In doing so, it shows the successes, failures and changes that have made British fascism a force in the international extremist subculture.


National Front British National Party extreme politics subcultures political ideologies

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Washington, DCUSA

About the authors

Ryan Shaffer is an historian and writer. His academic work focuses on Asian and European history with particular interest in extremism and political violence. He has published over 150 articles, reviews and chapters about European and South Asian politics in popular magazines and scholarly journals.

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Music, Youth and International Links in Post-War British Fascism
  • Book Subtitle The Transformation of Extremism
  • Authors Ryan Shaffer
  • Series Title Palgrave Studies in the History of Subcultures and Popular Music
  • Series Abbreviated Title Palgrave Studies in the History of Subcultures and Popular Music
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2017
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
  • eBook Packages History History (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-3-319-59667-9
  • Softcover ISBN 978-3-319-86675-8
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-319-59668-6
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages X, 351
  • Number of Illustrations 0 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Cultural History
    Youth Culture
    Political History
    History of Britain and Ireland
  • Buy this book on publisher's site


“For anyone with a deep interest and knowledge in British fascism of that period, this will be an essential source … .” (Stephen Dorril, Journal of British Studies, Vol. 59 (1), 2020)

“One strength of Shaffer’s book is the extensive interviews he carried out with NF and BNP leaders … . the book is valuable for showing how fringe movements function, recruit, and negotiate the difficult waters of local and national politics.” (Roland Clark, The Journal of the History of Childhood and Youth, Vol. 12 (2), 2019)

“Shaffer has made an important contribution to the study of British fascism. His empirical approach provides an invaluable, and very readable, guide to the many, tiny groups and splinter groups, as well as the variegated ideological trends, that have fostered this complex, marginalized movement from the 1960s to the present day.” (Paul Jackson, History - The Journal of the Historical Association, March 06, 2019)