Extreme Identities: A Linguistic and Visual Analysis of European Far-Right Online Communities' Politics of Identity [ExId]

Summary

The ExId project offers a comprehensive analysis of the European far-right online landscape. Combining cutting-edge computational methods with in-depth qualitative analysis, the team will identify the many online far-right communities present in and across 7 European countries, map their relationships, and expose how these communities, through language and visual imagery, make some socio-political issues salient and construct particular collective identities (both in-groups such as “whites”, “Western civilization” or “Europe”, and out-groups such as “Muslims”, “feminists”, or “multiculturalists”). The team will offer a dynamic analysis of both the evolution of the European far-right online landscape, and its linguistic and visual content, exploring phenomena such as the impact of real-world events on websites’ content or circulation of linguistic/visual tropes across groups. Building on the specific, yet overlapping strengths of its collaborators in Exeter, Dublin, and Copenhagen, the project draws on diverse methodologies to offer a multidisciplinary analysis of the composite and rapidly moving European far-right movement. Through close collaboration between the three participating centres (each with a proven track-record of research on online extremist communications), this project will result in a range of academic publications, two new databases, and engagement with European policymakers and state officials. ExId will thus significantly enhance our understanding of four of the challenges identified in NORFACE’s call: shifting identities and representation, the evolving politics of threat, the democratisation of information, and the changing authority of institutions.

Details

Project number

462-19-120

Main applicant

Dr. S. Baele

Affiliated with

University of Exeter, Department of Politics

Duration

01/09/2020 to 28/02/2023