The Extreme Right and Its Media in Italy

Cinzia Padovani


Various factors are at the origin of the resurgence of racist, neo-fascist and neo-nazi movements and parties in Europe. Fast-paced social and cultural changes due to globalization of economics and communications; intensification of migration fluxes from former Soviet republics, North African countries, and the Balkans, into Western Europe; the process of European unification and expansion; and the crisis of traditional systems of political representation, have nourished, since the early 1990s, the re-birth of far right movements and parties. No longer at the margins of the political system, the galaxy of extreme right parties includes Le Front National in France, the NPD Nationaldemokraten in Germany, Democracia National in Spain, the Austrian Fpo Liberal Party, and many others. Racism, xenophobia, homophobia, anti-Semitism, Fascism or Nazism, and nationalism, are the main characteristics of these political formations.
Italy is no exception. Indeed various observers are concerned that the number of Fascist groups and parties is growing and they are acquiring more visibility. Although there is a vast literature on the evolution of the far right especially in the last decade, there is still little analytical and historical information on how far right groups and movements use contemporary communication technologies to their advantage. In this paper, I look at how some representative far right groups (including the youth oriented Blocco Studentesco and La Destra) use their websites to promote a sense of community and belonging, spread information, create a network among sympathizers and militants, reinforce their already strong presence in the streets and the neighborhoods, and promote an image that is militant but friendly, portraying fascism as a benevolent, pro-social force.

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