Eurasianism and the European Far Right

Marlène Laruelle ed., Eurasianism and the European Far Right Reshaping the Europe–Russia Relationship, Lexington Books, Lanham, 2015, 292p.

The 2014 Ukrainian crisis has highlighted the pro-Russia stances of some European countries, such as Hungary and Greece, and of some European parties, mostly on the far-right of the political spectrum. They see themselves as victims of the EU technocracy and liberal moral values, and look for new allies to denounce the current mainstream and its austerity measures. These groups found new and unexpected allies in Russia. As seen from the Kremlin, those who denounce Brussels and its submission to US interests are potential allies of a newly re-assertive Russia that is torchbearer of conservative values. Separate from the Kremlin’s networks and predating them, the European connections of Alexander Dugin, the fascist geopolitician and proponent of neo-Eurasianism, paved the way for a new pan-European illiberal ideology based on a reinterpretation of fascism. Although Dugin and the European far-right belong to the same ideological sphere and can be seen as two sides of the same coin, the alliance between Putin’s regime and the European far-right is more a marriage of convenience than one of true love. This unique book examines European far-right’s connections with Russia and untangles this puzzle by tracing the ideological origins and individual paths that have materialized in the permanent dialogue between Russia and Europe.

Introduction: Marlene Laruelle

Chapter 1: Dangerous Liaisons? Eurasianism, European Far Right, and Putin’s Russia, Marlene Laruelle

Part I: Alexander Dugin’s Trajectory: Mediating European Far Right to Russia
Chapter 2: Alexander Dugin and the West European New Right, 1989–1994, Anton Shekhovtsov
Chapter 3: Moscow State University’s Department of Sociology and the Climate of Opinion in Post-Soviet Russia, Vadim Rossman

Part II: France, Italy, and Spain: Dugin’s European Cradles

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Chapter 4: A Long-Lasting Friendship. Alexander Dugin and the French Radical Right, Jean-Yves Camus
Chapter 5: From Evola to Dugin: The Neo-Eurasianist Connection in Italy, Giovanni Savino
Chapter 6: Arriba Eurasia? The Difficult Establishment of Neo-Eurasianism in Spain, Nicolas Lebourg

Part III: Turkey, Hungary, and Greece: Dugin’s New Conquests

Chapter 7: “Failed Exodus”: Dugin’s Networks in Turkey, Vügar İmanbeyli
Chapter 8: Deciphering Eurasianism in Hungary: Narratives, Networks, and Lifestyles, Umut Korkut and Emel Akçali
Chapter 9: The Dawning of Europe and Eurasia? The Greek Golden Dawn and its Transnational Links, Sofia Tipaldou

Part IV: Conclusions: The European Far Right at Moscow’s Service?
Chapter 10: Far-Right Election Observation Monitors in the Service of the Kremlin’s Foreign Policy, Anton Shekhovtsov

Marlene Laruelle has assembled an impressive team of authors, who show that Alexander Dugin’s Eurasianism is best understood as an offshoot of the European Far Right, and not a product of Russia’s distinctive cultural heritage. This makes for an interesting contribution to the far reaches of the history of European political thought.
Peter Rutland, Wesleyan University

This collection contributes significantly to the burgeoning international field of comparative fascism studies, while also allowing some of the inner metapolitical logic of Putin’s foreign policy to become transparent and intelligible. An important book which should be read by all those who claim to be experts on the machinations of contemporary Russia, and which finally puts some substance into vapid discussions of its ‘fascism’.
Roger Griffin, Oxford Brookes University

This well-designed volume fills a crucial gap in our understanding of the ideological (and sometimes personal) ties connecting Eurasianist philosophers in Russia (especially the infamous Alexander Dugin) with surging anti-immigrant and far-right ultranationalist political parties in Europe and Turkey. Marlene Laruelle assembles an international cast of experts to examine these questions with depth and nuance, focusing on implications for Putin’s Kremlin and the evolving international order. A boon for scholars, this work will also serve as a reference for journalists and other analysts trying to understand the complexities of the Russian-European relationship today.
Kimberly Marten, Barnard College, Columbia University