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The University of Southampton

HIST3243 A Short History of the Far Right

Module Overview

The resurgence of the far right is one of the most striking and challenging features of the 21st century political landscape. Attitudes and practices that were marginal and unrespectable just decades ago have gained considerable traction, whether measured through election results or the shifts in public discourse around notions of race and nation. On this module you will learn to identify the distinctive features of far right thinking and practice by studying its manifestations in Europe and the wider world. Although the most notorious expression of the far right - fascism - is inescapably European in origin, these and other forms of authoritarian populism are much more widespread. You are asked to think about where far right ideas come from while also bearing in mind their variety, and the fluidity and contingency of their development since the late nineteenth century.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • The porosity of the boundaries between traditional forms of conservatism and the radical right.
  • The problem of defining the radical right.
  • The political, social, economic and cultural environments in which the far right seems to flourish.
  • The major facets of far right ideology: nationalism, populism, ethnic exclusivity.
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Explain the national and trans-national contexts of far right politics.
  • Develop a research topic on the far right using primary sources.
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Reflection on your own learning and understanding across the module.
  • Close analysis of a wide range of source material.
  • Communication of your ideas in written form.


An indicative list of topics that may be covered include: - Introducing the far right: problems and perspectives - Locating the far right in the late 19th century world - The emergence of fascism in the interwar world - Where did all the fascists go after 1945? - Neo-fascisms in Europe - Star-spangled fascism? Extreme right politics in the USA - The far right in the 21st century: race, nationalism, democracy

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include: Lectures introducing the key topics Small-group seminars to discuss primary sources and secondary readings Individual essay tutorials Learning methods include: Close analysis of a range of primary sources Extensive reading of secondary and theoretical literature Development of a learning journal to track progress on the module across the semester Research for and production of an analytical essay

Guided independent study125
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

C. Mason (2018). 'Right-wing literature in the United States since the 1960s'. Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Literature. .

R.J.B. Bosworth, ed., (2009). The Oxford Handbook of Fascism. 

M. Caiani (2012). Mobilizing on the extreme right: Germany, Italy and the United States. 

M. Goodwin and R. Ford (2013). Revolt from the Right: Explaining Supoort for the Radical Right in Britain. 

P. Hainsworth, ed. (2000). The Politics of the Extreme Right: from the margins to the mainstream. 



MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (3000 words) 50%
Learning journal  (2500 words) 50%


MethodPercentage contribution
Assessment tasks 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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