Right now: Contemporary forms of far-right populism and fascism in the Global South

Acta Academica 54 (3):1-11 (2022)
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Recent years have seen the global emergence of populist political formations, leading certain scholars to term our present age the “age of populism” and some politicians, such as Hungary’s current prime minister Viktor Orbán, to proclaim that “the era of liberal democracy is over”. Contemporary forms of populism are characterized by ‘us’ (often ‘the people’ in an ethnic or communal sense) versus ‘them’ (usually liberal elites, the establishment, minorities, or immigrants) forms of binary thinking. For some, the rise of contemporary populism inherently represents the resurgence of forms of reactionary populist nationalism, ranging from the ‘radical’ to the ‘extreme’ right, and the revitalization of forms of ideology that may be termed ‘neo-fascist’. The great challenge for contemporary democracies is that, in contrast to dictators who seize power via coups, the aforementioned political movements come to power via the ballot box. In light of the revitalization of such political formations, the current special issue serves to critically investigate contemporary forms of far-right populism and fascism in the Global South. Many contributors cast a critical perspective upon the political dimensions of the current proliferation of extreme forms of reactionary politics and the social conditions that gave rise, and are in the process of giving rise, to such movements. Other contributors explore the historical and theoretical roots of current forms of far-right populism and fascism (FRP/F), critical engagement with present-day problems that are resultant of their preponderance, as well as analyses of the cultural forces and tendencies that have led to, and are leading to, their contemporary ascendance. Some contributors also consider the question of whether it is possible to develop a general theory of FRP/F in contemporary society, present inquiries into the future development of FRP/F, or investigate opportunities for opposition to FRP/F in the present context.

Author Profiles

Ewa Maria Latecka
University of Zululand
Gregory Morgan Swer
University of KwaZulu-Natal


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