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Radical right in Europe and East Asia: Comparison and New Approaches in Research

Deadline for submissions
30. 6. 2023

Organizers:

Masaryk institute and Archives of the Czech Academy of Sciences 

Department of Chinese Studies, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic 

Place:

Prague, Vila Lanna, November 14th – 15th 2023

Aim of the conference: 

Despite the intense scholarly interest in the history of radical nationalism and fascism, the connections between fascist and radical nationalist ideas and specific East Asian nationalist thinkers is an important theme that appears to have been largely ignored by ´Western´ scholars. The study of fascism and major strands of nationalism in Europe and in East Asia do not seem to be connected. 

The electoral successes of radical nationalist and right-wing populist parties in Western democracies have intensified the interest of scholars specializing in this area. It is clear that there is an increasing importance of radical nationalist and (neo)fascist movements on the political spectrum, which is part of a resurgence in authoritarianism currently being experienced worldwide, from Europe to China. However, despite the deluge of publications on the subject with varying degrees of insight, scholarly works that explicitly aim to link the two phenomena, that is, to analyse their contemporary iterations and, especially, to compare their manifestations in Europe and East Asia, are largely absent. 

Key features of European right-wing populist and radical nationalist parties include nativism, the division of society into two groups (a homogeneous and an antagonistic group), and authoritarian ideology. However, is it possible to observe similar trends in East Asia? Can we speak of a rise in radical nationalism in societies such as China, Japan, or Vietnam in recent years? How can we explain the growth of such movements and tendencies?

Similarly, historians of fascism have long failed to recognize the transnational character of fascism and radical nationalism, as well as the cross-border cooperation between fascists and different radical nationalist movements. Both fascism and radical nationalism have been investigated mainly within the framework of national histories. Although rooted in national communities and domestic tradition, fascism is a transnational phenomenon. This has finally been recognized in historiography, as one of the main research topics in recent years has been fascist internationalism and the interactions, entanglements, and cooperation among fascist movements and regimes. 

Nonetheless, the research is mostly confined to European movements, as it is carried out predominantly by ´Western´ scholars who often tend to ignore both extra-European research and developments. However, Western imperialism, fascism, and Nazism had a significant influence on countries elsewhere in the world, including Imperial Japan and the Blue Shirt movement in China. 

Therefore, the chief aim of this conference is to bring together experts from across the social sciences and humanities, both within and outside Europe, to ignite an interdisciplinary discussion about the origins, nature, ideology, and manifestations of fascism and radical nationalism in East Asia, as well as the transnational links between European and East Asian movements. The conference will study the borderlands of East Asian engagement with fascism, the idea of the authenticity of organicist ideas of community and nation in the twentieth century, whose protagonists recognized affinities with fascism and later Nazism. Individual panels will also incorporate a particular conceptual aspect from which to offer a space for national comparisons, including economic policy, intellectual and ideological transfers, among others.

We will be joined by, among others, Professor Roger Griffin (Oxford Brookes University) and Professor Peter Gries (Manchester University), who will be keynote speakers. 

Interested participants are kindly asked to send the title of their presentations by email to FascismAndRadicalismInAsiaConf@gmail.com by June 30th, 2023, together with a summary of up to 300 words and a short biography of the author/authors in English. We welcome individual papers and panel proposals. Proposals will be peer-reviewed and chosen by a committee of academics. Each applicant will receive a response from the organizing committee by July 15th, 2023.

Fees:

There are no fees payable in order to attend this conference. The organizers will provide meals for the participants during the conference. Transport costs and accommodation will be covered by the participants. The organizers will help with finding accommodation. 

Publication:

If there is sufficient interest, the conference organizers intend to publish a volume of collected papers from presenters.

Deadline for submissions:

June 30th, 2023

Conference date:

November 14th – 15th, 2023 

Location:

Vila Lanna, Prague

This conference is co-sponsored by the Czech Academy of Sciences´ AV21 Strategy programme "A Resilient Society for the 21st Century"

Possible topics: 

  • Methodological questions: was there fascism in East Asia? Can we categorize different East Asian movements and parties as being radical right? 
  • Transnational/cross-border cooperation between fascists and contemporary radical nationalist movements 
  • What are the key factors that can explain why radical nationalism is on the rise in East Asia? 
  • The rise of radical nationalism in Europe and in Asia: A comparison 
  • The influence of Western fascism/radical nationalism on countries in East Asia 
  • The Blue Shirt movement and the nationalism of Chiang Kai-shek 
  • Imperial Japan as a fascist empire? 
  • National comparisons, including economic policy and intellectual and ideological transfers 
  • Fascist culture in East Asia; fascism as a cultural phenomenon 
  • Contemporary radical right-wing and nationalist movements in East Asia: a form of neo-fascism/neo-Nazism?

Annexes

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