9th Conference European Sociological Association

RN31 Ethnic Relations, Racism and Antisemitism

2009-09-04 09:00:00 2009-09-04 10:30:00 Friday, 4 September 09:00 - 10:30 The European Right Building II, C5.09

Intervention approaches of Civil Society for repelling right-wing extremism in Swiss Municipalities

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.