Intervention approaches of Civil Society for repelling right-wing extremism in Swiss Municipalities
Eser Davolio, Miryam
School for Social Work, Institute for Social Planning and Urban Development University of Applied Sciences of Northwestern Switzerland Basel, Switzerland
In the framework of the Swiss National Research Program (NRP 40+), Right-Wing Extremism - Causes and Countermeasures, we conducted a study on the viability of social work and community development in dealing with right-wing extremism. As the study focused particularly on community work projects, we first conducted a pilot study in nine municipalities that had experienced and responded to problems of right-wing extremism. In the main part of our study, we evaluated seven interventions conducted in conjunction with expert consultants. The results revealed a picture of the situation in a total of sixteen municipalities in the German and French-speaking parts of Switzerland and provided insights into the causes of and possible countermeasures to right-wing extremism. The networking among community actors and the coordinated implementation of measures in surveyed municipalities as a rule resulted in a decrease in right-wing extremist incidents. The three main strategies: repression, intervention, and prevention. At the level of prevention and intervention, the surveyed municipalities selected very different forms of activities to demonstrate their common commitment against right-wing extremism. The creation of better communication channels significantly improved monitoring, which in turn fostered repression and the early recognition of new manifestations of the right-wing extremist scene.
In connection with our current studies the role and influence of context (population, parties, politics) on right-wing extremism will be analyzed and exposed, especially regarding political campaigns.