Anna Pultar (University of Edinburgh) & Anja Giudici (University of Oxford)
Interdisciplinary workshop funded by the British Academy/Leverhulme trust University of Edinburgh, 3-4 December 2020
With the recent resurgence of far-right populist parties and movements across Europe, liberal democracy and its educational foundations have become increasingly contested. While the far right has come to constitute an influential and enduring actor in the European political and societal debate, we still lack systematic knowledge on its representatives’ educational views, these views’ origin and development in the last decades, how they are being brought into politics and with what effect.
This workshop aims to initiate an interdisciplinary research agenda to equip us in understanding and tackling this emerging phenomenon. We aim to explore the far right’s engagement with education and schooling, from pre-school to university, with a particular focus on the intersection between the ideology, organisation and strategy of actors on the far-right. In particular, we seek to investigate:
- What far-right actors – parties, movements, ideologues – have engaged with education policy and what are the key themes and motivations in their educational thinking?
- How do their programs vary or converge across national boundaries and organizational contexts? How do they differ from more mainstream conservative, neo-liberal and Christian- democratic thinking as well as from classic fascist ideologies?
- How do parties and movements form and disseminate their beliefs and programs?
- What are their organisational underpinnings and how do they mobilise political support, for
example among teachers, students, and parental organisations?
- What is the (potential) impact of far-right education ideologies on education policy agendas
We invite researchers from political science, education, history and related disciplines to lend their distinctive perspective to these questions and contribute to laying the ground for a new research agenda in this interdisciplinary field.
The workshop will be held in 2 half-day sessions, accompanied by a panel discussion open to a broader audience. Confirmed speakers are Sarah de Lange (University of Amsterdam), Andrea Mammone (Royal Holloway University of London), and Jenny Ozga (University of Oxford).
A small budget for travel expenses is available for participants without institutional funding. Should in-person workshops not yet be possible, virtual arrangements will be made. A follow-up workshop, in view of a joint publication, will be held in Oxford in spring 2021.