Sun, 12 Dec | Online Dialogue

The Rise of Right-Wing Extremism

The Most Serious and Most Underestimated Threat to Democracy and Freedom
The Rise of Right-Wing Extremism

Time & Location

12 Dec, 15:00 – 19:00
Online Dialogue

About the Event

Scope of the Dialogue:

We believed for long that right-wing extremism was defeated after the fall of fascism. People started believing that democracy had taken strong roots, the societies had become liberal and the impact of the holocaust trauma had made the return of right-wing extremism impossible. We were wrong. The right-wing extremism is back.

It is no more an insignificant movement at the periphery of society. The mainstream politics under-estimated, deliberately ignored, even cooperated with the far-right and adapted many of their policies. The states downplayed the threat while the law enforcement and intelligence agencies have been warning against the far-right terrorist dangers and their infiltration into the state institutions. As a result, the rightwing not only gained legitimacy, became stronger, but it has also shifted the whole political spectrum to the right and made it a new norm.

The far-right is now an established force in the USA, Brazil, India, Philippines, and across Europe, pretty much in most of the world. It is more organized, more planned and coordinated, more lethal, and part of everyday life. It is influencing all political decisions directly and indirectly, inside and outside the parliaments. It manifests itself in various forms in different societies. From Oklahoma, Capitol Hill, Christchurch, Utøya, Rio de Janeiro, Sukma-Bijapur, Kashmir, Afghanistan, Lahore, to Hanau or Halle, we saw it in the forms of nationalism, white supremacy, anti-immigration, Islamophobia, religious extremism, anti-abortion, racism, sexism, anti-Semitism, eco-fascism, etc.

This Dialogue is designed to discuss the rise of the far-right, its causes, the ideology, its various forms, its relationship with conventional politics and capitalism, its consequences, and the threats to democracy and freedom.

About the Speaker:

  1. Prof Dr Ishtiaq Ahmed is a Swedish political scientist and author of Pakistani descent. He holds a PhD in Political Science from Stockholm University. He is currently Visiting Professor at the Government College University, Lahore. He was a Visiting Professor at the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) during 2013-2015. He is Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Stockholm University. He is also Honorary Senior Fellow of the Institute of South Asian Studies at the National University of Singapore. He was a Visiting Research Professor at the Institute of South Asian Studies (ISAS), National University of Singapore and at the South Asian Studies Programme, National University of Singapore from June 2007 to June 2010. He is member of the editorial advisory boards of "Asian Ethnicity"; "Journal of Punjab Studies"; "IPRI Journal, Islamabad"; and "PIPS Research Journal of Conflict and Peace Studies, Islamabad. Books: Punjab ka Batwara: Aik Almiya Hazaar Dastaaney; Pakistan: The Garrison State, Origins, Evolution, Consequences; The Pakistan Military in Politics: Origins, Evolution, Consequences; The Punjab Bloodied, Partitioned and Cleansed: Unravelling the 1947 Tragedy through Secret British Reports and First Person Accounts; The Politics of Religion in South and Southeast Asia; The Politics of Group Rights. The State and Multiculturalism; State, Nation, and Ethnicity in Contemporary South Asia; The Concept of an Islamic State: An Analysis of the Ideological Controversy in Pakistan and most recent Jinnah - His Successes and Failures and Role in History
  2. Waheed Bhatti Waheed Bhatti has been involved in students and trade unions during the time of his studies which included political science. He has always been a tireless voice against exploitation, discrimination and bigotry and has supported the struggles for democracy, human rights, gender equality and equal rights for minorities. These are precisely part of OPP's program and activities of which he is one of the founder members.  He has moderated several OPP Dialogues both at the VU and online. One of his core competencies is the skill to grasp the bigger picture and quickly bring the most complex situations down to a single issue.

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