Event Date: 15 – 17 May 2019
Richmond University – The American University in London
Richmond TW10 6JP
A Century of Radical Right Extremism: New Approaches
Balsa Lubarda (Central European University) – Towards a ‘Green kingdom’: radical right environmentalism in Hungary
The increasing popularity of radical right in Central-east Europe enabled it to permeate a wide range of topics. Simultaneously, it has long been acknowledged that the countries of the socialist camp had a rather distinctive experience with environmentalism as opposed to Western-European countries, mostly due to the extent of environmental degradation paired with the stringent political pressure exerted by the authorities. For Hungary, a country which has always stood as the fertile soil for radical right groups, environmental topics have seldom been used to instigate nationalistic sentiments. Radical right affinity to the environment comes as somewhat natural – their appreciation of what is supposedly authentic. Viewing the concepts of ‘race’ and ‘nation’ as inextricably tied to the land, a nostalgic desire for order and stability allegedly resembled in ecosystems has become a substantive allure of radical right’s appeal to self-sustainability. Its position in Hungary nowadays is also pointing to a need for regrouping, given the dominance of Victor Orban’s populist Fidesz. Their increasing relevance (over 20% of the popular vote) points to the influence radical right presents for shaping or shifting environmental discourse and policies in the future. To assess the radical right’s positions on the environment, this paper will look at discourses and policy proposals of Hungarian radical right actors by utilizing the analytical framework of Right-wing ecology (Olsen 1999, Lubarda, forthcoming). The actors under scrutiny consist of both parties (Jobbik, Mi Hazank), and movements (HVIM, Legio Hungaria, Betyarsereg, Ero es Elszantsag).