The political extreme as the new normal: the cases of Brexit, the French state of emergency and Dutch Islamophobia

  • Henk van Houtum Nijmegen Centre for Border Research, Radboud University Nijmegen & University of Eastern Finland
  • Rodrigo Bueno Lacy Nijmegen Centre for Border Research, Radboud University Nijmegen

Abstract

In this article we carry out a geopolitical analysis of the turbulent breeze driving the EU into uncharted extremes. To do this we zoom in on three cases that we deem both a response to political extremism and a source of political extremism in themselves: France’s state of emergency, Brexit and the pyrrhic victory over the far-right in the Dutch elections of 2017 . Our analysis suggests that even though the political forces behind these events have praised their policies or electoral victories as bulwarks to keep extremism in check, the sort of extremism that they try to keep at bay is not as worrying as the counter-productive realpolitik of the traditional establishment they represent. By surreptitiously adopting precisely the kind of extremist political preferences that they claim to set themselves against, these politics show how the establishment in the EU is normalising the extreme geopolitics of exclusion that are structurally undermining the very principles of rule of law, liberal democracy and overall openness on which the EU is based. The result: what used to be easily dismissed as irrational or evil has become the everyday normal. The extremism we so much fear has become the new normality.

Section
Reflections
Published
Jun 19, 2017
How to Cite
HOUTUM, Henk van; BUENO LACY, Rodrigo. The political extreme as the new normal: the cases of Brexit, the French state of emergency and Dutch Islamophobia. Fennia - International Journal of Geography, [S.l.], v. 195, n. 1, p. 85-101, june 2017. ISSN 1798-5617. Available at: <https://fennia.journal.fi/article/view/64568>. Date accessed: 24 sep. 2017. doi: https://doi.org/10.11143/fennia.64568.