Centre for Fascist, Anti-Fascist and Post-Fascist Studies Set Up By Teesside University

Posted: Updated:

A centre dedicated to studying the extreme far right and anti-Muslim attacks has been established by a university.

The Centre for Fascist, Anti-Fascist and Post-Fascist Studies, launched by Teesside University, will look at the historical developments of far-right politics.

Professor Nigel Copsey, along with his colleague, Dr Matthew Feldman, will open the centre at an event to commemorate National Holocaust Memorial Day later this month.

Speaking before the launch, Prof Copsey said recent developments in far-right politics led them to believe there could be more attacks like the one carried out by Anders Behring Breivik in Norway in 2011.

"Over the last year there is no evidence for increased support for the far right. The BNP are fragmented and split and there is growing disillusionment with the EDL," he said.

"All these developments mean we argue it could lead right-wing extremists to think of more extreme actions, like Breivik.

"I'm not saying this will definitely happen but, because of the developments in the far right, there's a vacuum and it raises the potential for more violent actions."

fascist centre

In July 2011, Anders Breivik bombed a government building in Norway which killed eight people and then went on to shoot and kill 69 people on Utoya island

The centre will also look at the opposition to far-right groups and how successful anti-fascist protests are, as well as far-right anti-Muslim activity.

Dr Feldman said: "An important development in radical right activism this century is, without doubt, the turn from anti-Semitism toward anti-Muslim politics.

"One of the things we will be looking at is a quantifiable analysis of far right participation in anti-Muslim attacks."

Raheem Kassam, director of campus watchdog Student Rights said: "It is extremely important that all extreme ideologies are confronted, and one of the most important tools in confronting extremism is through academic study and analysis, to allow us to understand what drives such ideologies.

"Fascism in the 21st century is still inherently anti-Semitic, and the growth of anti-Islamic sentiment is a new and developing trend. However, it is important to remember, as Christopher Hitchens wrote, that fascism also rears its head within Islamist ideologies - a reality that few have yet been comfortable in broaching."

Around the Web

University's new centre to study rise in anti-Islam far right

Teesside University to open study centre of far right