Undergraduate Module Descriptor

POC3129: The Far Right in Europe

This module descriptor refers to the 2020/1 academic year.

Please note that this module is only delivered on the Penryn Campus.


NQF Level 6
Credits 15 ECTS Value 7.5
Term(s) and duration

This module will run during term 1 (11 weeks)

Academic staff

Dr Lamprini Rori (Convenor)





Available via distance learning


Since the end of the 1990s, far right parties have enjoyed significant electoral gains across the European continent. In combination with the electoral shrinkage of mainstream parties in various ideological nuances, increasing far right support generates fears and challenges for the democratic legitimacy and stability Europe has enjoyed in the post-war era. The module will introduce you to the study of the far right in European politics. It will examine historical antecedents and contemporary aspects of the far right phenomenon. We will analyse social, economic and cultural shifts that create demand for the far right vote and policies. We will delve into conditions of supply that facilitate a far right presence and its success, such as institutional parameters, political opportunities, organizational build-up of parties, the impact of the media and political engagement via social movements. You will relate the far right to representation, electorates, parties, civil society, policies and politics dynamics. The module is empirical, but includes some positive theory, i.e. theories that aim to explain why people behave as they do. The aim of each topic is to assess the evidence for competing explanations of particular features of the far right phenomenon. You will learn methodological issues on the study of the far right. The module largely deals with contemporary societies and recent developments, but appreciation of historical developments is often useful to understand these. The module is also comparative, with the readings drawn from research on countries of Western Europe.

No prior knowledge skills or experience are required to take this module and it is suitable for specialist and non-specialist students. The module is only suitable for students studying Politics.

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