Book Review: Alina Polyakova – The Dark Side of European Integration. Social Foundation and Cultural Determinants of the Rise of Radical Right Movements in Contemporary Europe

Ina Schmidt


In her book “the Dark Side of European Integration”, Alina Polyakova establishes the assumption that social integration has not followed economic integration in the European project. Her research interest is, to find out whether and in which ways nationalism in its ethnic form constitutes a countermovement to the European project, an assessment which she bases on the increasing successes of radical right parties and movements all over Europe. Within the increasing success of radical right parties and movements she chooses 3 main contexts for closer analysis, examining different aspects of her broader research topic. The contexts she chooses are the factors for the electoral support of radical right parties, the individual motivations of people to join these parties or movements and in the last chapter a theoretical discussion of social movement research and the interconnections of social movements and political parties. In the 3 main parts of the book the author uses different methodological approaches; while the first part is a quantitative analysis with a Tobit regression, the second part is a qualitative research of interviews with activists and the last chapter is a discussion on a theoretical level. Also, Polyakova first refers to a set of countries, while turning to a single country in her second analysis and staying on a theoretical level in the third part of the book.

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