“Inconvenient Solidarities”: Extreme-Right Online Networks and the Construction of a Critical Frame Against Europe

Chapter

Abstract

Manuela Caiani and Elena Pavan chose an exploratory approach towards what can be described as “inconvenient solidarities”. They start from the finding that, in spite of increasing interest in how information and communication technologies entwine with collective participation dynamics, the ways in which their relational and communicational potential is exploited by extreme-right organisations remain overlooked. On this basis, they aim to move research in the field forward by focusing on how extreme-right organisations and groups employ digital communications to sustain the construction of “inconvenient solidarities”, i.e. systems of relations among actors that oppose and distort current efforts aimed at promoting transnational democratisation, particularly at the European level. By focusing on the websites of extreme-right organisations in six European countries (Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom) and combining digital research tools and social network analysis, Caiani and Pavan explore how these organisations use information and communication technologies strategically to connect in the online space, as well as to construct and distribute materials criticising and envisaging reforms of the current projects of European integration. Their results suggest that information and communication technologies sustain the construction of inconvenient solidarities in heterogeneous ways, supporting different modes of online conversation that, in turn, affect extreme-right actors’ capacity to propose shared and unified frames of opposition to and reform of the EU.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Humanities and Social SciencesScuola Normale SuperiorePisaItaly

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