Is Rising Inequality Fueling a Global Rise of the Far-Right?

June 07, 2024

The title of this year’s GRIP lecture is «The Politics of Inequality and the Rise of the Illiberal Right: A Global Perspective». These currents are part of a broader global trend: political polarisation and economic disparity fueling populism. A global backlashBello, a vocal critic of inequality and a leader of the think tank Focus on the Global South, will explore whether this rise of the «illiberal Right» is a global phenomenon, and if so, is it inevitable? The lecture promises a profound exploration of various sub-themes, including a comparative analysis of how authoritarian processes unfold in the Global North and Global South. This symposium presents a unique opportunity for a broader discussion on how to address global inequality and strengthen democratic institutions in an increasingly polarised world.

«…a 'far-rightist' is a fascist who has not yet seized power, for it is only once they are in power that fascists fully reveal their political propensities…» - Walden Bello

Far-right parties and movements have been on the rise for the last decades, getting both more electoral support and more influence over mainstream politics, raising concerns about how the conventional political arenas become saturated with discriminatory rhetoric and exclusionary politics.

The title of this year’s GRIP lecture is «The Politics of Inequality and the Rise of the Illiberal Right: A Global Perspective». Professor Walden Bello will embark on a comprehensive exploration of the multifaceted ways in which global transformations within the framework of capitalism intersect with the pervasive inequalities that serve as both catalysts and focal points of right-wing authoritarianism. The lecture is free and open to the public on Wednesday, April 24th at 14.00. 

Immigration case in Norway

Even in established democracies like Norway one is witnessing how discrimination and racism appear and operates within the political realm. For example, the recent decision by the Drammen City Council’s wish to prioritise refugees from Europe over other refugees ignited concerns about racism and discrimination.

«We’ve taken in far too many immigrants for many years,» said Jon Helgheim of the conservative Progress Party. Drammen, he argued, faces integration challenges due to a high number of non-Western immigrants. However, the council did not explain why integrating European refugees would be easier, raising questions about adherence to paragraph six of Norway’s anti-discrimination law.

These currents are part of a broader global trend: political polarisation and economic disparity fueling populism. The country now faces a critical question: Can it maintain its tradition of inclusivity in the face of these challenges? 

Capitalism and inequality

Right-wing populism and authoritarian tendencies are on the rise around the world, from Hungary to Brazil to the United States. A free lecture by renowned sociologist Walden Bello on April 24th will examine the question of whether this trend is connected to the ever-widening gap between rich and poor.

«The lecture's focal point will be an examination of the multifaceted ways in which global transformations within the framework of capitalism intersect with the pervasive inequalities that serve as both catalysts and focal points of right-wing authoritarianism,» explains Don Kalb, Academic Director at the Global Research Programme on Inequality (GRIP) – the host of the Lecture and Symposium.

A global backlash

Bello, a vocal critic of inequality and a leader of the think tank Focus on the Global South, will explore whether this rise of the «illiberal Right» is a global phenomenon, and if so, is it inevitable?

The lecture promises a profound exploration of various sub-themes, including a comparative analysis of how authoritarian processes unfold in the Global North and Global South. Bello will also address the question of whether these right-wing movements, despite their regional differences, share common roots in economic disparity and class divisions.

The lecture is just the first part of a larger event: The following day, GRIP will host a symposium featuring prominent scholars who will dive deeper into the themes raised by Bello – presenting papers exploring the rise of the far-right in various local contexts. This symposium presents a unique opportunity for a broader discussion on how to address global inequality and strengthen democratic institutions in an increasingly polarised world.
 

The source of this news is from University of Bergen

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