Behind the Facade: Jobbik’s rebrand is bringing electoral success, but its true nature isn’t hard to track down

Originally Published by Policy Network 30 April 2015. Original linked here.

Earlier this month, a candidate for Hungary’s radical-right party, Jobbik, won a by-election for a vacant parliamentary seat in Tapolca, Hungary. Lajos Rig’s victory is not only a first for a far-right party in Hungary, but, notably, his win is the first time a newer party, not involved in Hungary’s first democratic elections in 1990, has acquired such a mandate. Onlookers now question whether Jobbik has truly shed its extremist past or simply taken on a new guise.

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Anti-Semitism in Hungary: New Voices for Old Narratives

Originally Published by TBFF 20 January 2015. Original linked here.

Hungary’s seemingly recent political move away from ‘liberal European values’, towards localised and nationalist politics has caused a great deal of international concern and speculation. Strong electoral support of the right-wing conservative nationalist party, Fidesz, and far-right party, Jobbik, has increased in recent years, with notable far-right support coming from youth voters. Alongside this new wave of far-right politics has been an increasing xenophobic, and in particular anti-Semitic and anti-Roma, political rhetoric.

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Far-Right and Radical Islamists are Finding Common Ground in Homophobia, anti-Semitism and Conspiracy Theories

Originally Published in Left Foot Forward: 24 March 2014. Original linked here.

In the UK the radical right and radical Islamists are seen as obvious mortal enemies to one other, each producing the rhetoric and actions that fuel and justify the other’s stance. Yet we often assume that this social dynamic is organic instead of seeing it for what it really is: a culturally constructed narrative of ‘in-group’ and ‘out-group’, ‘self’ and ‘other’. This is most keenly exemplified by recent developments in France, where radical right and radical Islamists are uniting, finding common ground in homophobia, anti-Semitism and conspiracy theories about Zionism.

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