The state we are in: University of Northampton academics to share expertise at international Far Right conference

Date 26.05.2016

The recent growth of the extreme right across Europe is a chilling echo of the past, and an international conference taking place next month will bring together academics and activists to consider the current situation, and make suggestions for the future.

The University of Northampton’s Dr Paul Jackson, and Editor of Searchlight magazine, Gerry Gable, will be keynote speakers at a conference entitled ‘The State We Are In: The Worst Threat from the Extreme Right Since 1945’. It has been organised by the anti-fascist organisation, Searchlight Research Associates.

Dr Paul Jackson, Senior Lecturer in Modern History, explained: “From Norbert Hofer’s recent near win in Austria, to the rise of Marine Le Pen’s Front National in France, to the impact of Hungary’s Jobbik, the growth of the far and extreme right in Europe has been a concerning development in recent years. While organisations such as the British National Party and the English Defence League have dwindled in the UK in recent years, new ones like Britain First have tried to take their place. Currently, there are over 130 identifiable far and extreme right organisations in Britain, which collectively foster a diverse and aggressive culture steeped in anti-Muslim and anti-Semitic political agendas, which sometimes encourage violence.

“The current situation is both complex and of great concern. By bringing together academics and leading activists, this conference aims to understand how the far right is changing and developing across Europe, and how this is likely to affect an array of groups in Britain in the coming years, too.”

Dr Jackson, who will be talking at the event on the current levels of extremism in Britain, will join other speakers including human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell, Fiyaz Mughal OBE – founder of Faith Matters and Tell Mama, and Gideon Falter, Chair of the Campaign against Antisemitism.

The University of Northampton has worked closely with Searchlight magazine for several years, and is home to the Searchlight Archive. This is a major source of archive material that documents the activities of British and international far-right and anti-fascist movements. The archive is one of the largest collections of its type in the UK, with approximately 1,000 archive boxes of information in total, and almost 400 are already listed in the catalogue. The Searchlight Archive includes many extremist periodicals and publications, and details of clandestine gatherings and briefing documents, which have been collected by the anti-fascist Searchlight magazine since the 1960s. Find out more about the University of Northampton’s Archive.

‘The state we are in: the worst threat from the Extreme Right since 1945’, will be held on Wednesday 15 June between 9:30 and 5:30, at the NUT Headquarters in London. For further details and a conference programme, click here..