Annual Societal Security Report 4

Reinhard Kreissl

The SOURCE Annual Societal Security Report (ASSR) 2016 was investigating reactions to the so-called refugee crisis of the year 2015 across Europe. In this report, focussing on the interplay of national and European policy reactions we set out to demonstrate the strategic exploitation of the political situation created by the uncontrolled influx of asylum seekers. During the research for the ASSR 2016 we identified citizen groups who took controversial positions on the treatment of refugees in their countries. We found a substantial number of outspoken anti-migration groups, who fiercely opposed any support for refugees and who were waging anti-migration campaigns. We suggest to take these groups and their vigilant anti-asylum actions as the tip of a hitherto unexplored iceberg of what we call "heterodox politicisation" – subject to this SOURCE Annual Societal Security Report 4 (2017). Protesters also were addressing in a more general sense the limited capabilities of the state and public policy, questioning the legitimacy of the existing political-institutional order. Migration policy (or the failure thereof) is but one area, where new forms and narratives of political protest and activity develop. Declining trust in the institutional set-up of the modern state and a feeling and/or experience of general disenfranchisement can support very different narratives and activities outside the established arena of civic political involvement cutting across established dichotomies of left/right or authoritarian/democratic used to categorise civic political protest. A closer look at the subterranean discourses emerging below the radar of established approaches of political analysis reveals strange mixtures linking tropes of radical critique of globalisation and political economy with a metaphysics of Nature, spiced with a wide variety of conspiracy theories, populating the blogosphere and virtual space. Since very little has been written about these groups and research so far has mainly focused on the international growth of networks in the right-wing extremist segment of the spectrum we move into uncharted territory with this analysis.  

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