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Ulf Zander

The chapter starts from the Scarlet Pimpernel as a stage play, a book, and a film. It draws attention to the effect of the film Pimpernel Smith, featuring Leslie Howard, on Raoul Wallenberg. The dual basis for the history-cultural investigation is provided by Emmuska Orczy’s play and book about the English hero who, in disguise, saves French people from the Terror of the French Revolution in conjunction with Leslie Howard’s representations of the Scarlet Pimpernel and his ‘updated’ counterpart in the 1940s, Horatio Smith, who helps persecuted scientists and intellectuals escape from Nazi Germany. The chapter also examines the Swedish film Pimpernel Svensson and deals with another diplomat, Harald Edelstam, who, like Wallenberg, has been referred to as a latter-day Scarlet Pimpernel.

in Raoul Wallenberg
Hubert Buch-Hansen
,
Max Koch
, and
Iana Nesterova

In green political thought, including degrowth thought, it is not uncommon to see the state as part of the problem rather than the solution. Nevertheless, most of the eco-social policies that are typically suggested to initiate and deepen degrowth transformations would require a great deal of intervention by states and international organisations. Degrowth advocacy has therefore suffered from a tension between viewing the state as incapable of initiating transformational change and appealing to it to do precisely that. The chapter seeks to overcome the tension via a broad theoretical perspective on the state. It first analyses the state’s roles in the capitalist growth economy, focusing, for instance, on the welfare and the environmental state. Subsequently, it turns to the potential role of the state in degrowth transformations, considering the form and scales of state intervention, as well as its content in terms of sustainable welfare and eco-social policies.

in Deep transformations
Hubert Buch-Hansen
,
Max Koch
, and
Iana Nesterova

How can deep transformations be accomplished? To initiate the theorisation of this matter, the present chapter draws on insights from contemporary political economy scholarship, mainly in the historical materialist tradition, combined with insights from, for example, anarchism and scholarship on diverse economies. From such scholarship various prerequisites for deep transformative change are distilled: a deep crisis, an alternative political project, a comprehensive coalition of social forces and public consent. It is argued that whereas capitalism finds itself in a deep crisis and degrowth may be considered an alternative political project, currently no coalition powerful enough to bring about degrowth exists. Widespread popular consent to degrowth is also something that is currently absent. It is suggested that such consent would require self-transformation at the level of the individual, prompting people to come to view degrowth as something desirable and a sensible development.

in Deep transformations
Uses of the landscape in the far-right cultural milieu and the ethics of researching them
Andrew Fergus Wilson

This chapter explores far-right usage of ‘the folkloresque’ in the appropriation and vernacular restaging of extant and reimagined religious iconography and concepts. The focus of the chapter is the use of landscape in the communication materials of a number of far-right groups as well as in their actions. This chapter will unpack and examine the multiple strands of meaning that were present within this action and situate these strands within racial nationalist ideology and its associated cultural milieu. The use of the land in the racial nationalist milieu is commonplace. For instance, Dan Stone outlined, and Roger Cutting expanded upon, ‘indigenous organic fascism’ in the 1930s; Bernard Forchtner has written about homologous sacralisation of land and race in British National Party materials; and Amy Hale analysed the resonance between John Michell’s Earth Mysteries and right-wing Paganism. Thus, this chapter situates current far right ‘land-making’ activity within this milieu. In doing so the chapter demonstrates the importance of recognising the ongoing and open-ended work of engaging with an enchanted landscape that makes available the sacred landscape as a heterodox and multi-faith resource that offers multiple places of meaning within its open spaces.

in The ethics of researching the far right
Working in service to racial justice
Remi Joseph-Salisbury
,
Laura Connelly
, and
Aurelien Mondon

Although there has been relatively little written to date about the practice of far right research, there is growing recognition that the complex ethical and political challenges researchers face are important subject matter in their own right. This chapter therefore brings together scholarship on anti-racist scholar-activism and the far right and its mainstreaming to explore how the principle of working in service can guide the praxes of those researching race, racism, and anti-racism. Centring questions of social usefulness and accountability, the chapter reflects on how an in service orientation urges us to push back against approaches within far right studies that risk amplifying and legitimising the far right. Instead, working in service requires us to place ourselves firmly on the side of communities of resistance and racial justice more broadly.

in The ethics of researching the far right
Ethical challenges in sharing, researching, and teaching
Daniel Jones

Does extreme material present a challenge to archive ethics and practice? Based on the decade of work of the Searchlight Archive at the University of Northampton, this chapter explores the question of how those working around archives of extremism can ethically engage with the material and make use of it to further education in this key area. As well as considerations of practical measures in managing and welcoming users into the archive space, this chapter considers the obligations of the archivist to care for the wellbeing and safety of their staff and researchers. It also argues that the archive should not be a passive repository, but instead that archives covering extremism can help engage students and the wider public with important parts of social and political history. These archives have an important role to play in the decolonisation of teaching by offering sources from extreme groups and community groups that oppose them. Ultimately, it asks whether the risks of this material can be balanced and mitigated to unlock the potential that exists within archives of extremism, and how researchers and practitioners can approach such content to achieve this.

in The ethics of researching the far right
Kayla Preston

There is a much-needed interest in care in the research community. This topic is even more necessary when researching contentious topics. The far right is one of these topics. Because far-right participants in research may express racist, xenophobic, Islamophobic, homophobic, and transphobic views, researchers who engage with these individuals or groups, especially those who may be targeted by the far right, face increased risk to their mental and physical health. In this chapter, I address past research which has discussed how to protect researcher well-being in the field such as detachment from research, feelings of research discomfort and ambivalence, as well as self-care. I ask how researchers separate themselves when looking at explicit or troubling content, and how best we can support individuals who may feel isolated by the research enterprise. My chapter concludes by addressing the importance of community building and community support during research on the far right. Community, mentorship, and peer support are viable ways to assist researchers both in and out of the field to combat negative experiences that may arise during emotional labour, trauma, and fear during the research process. While this chapter focuses on how this may help researchers who examine the far right, the implications of community care are far-reaching across research disciplines.

in The ethics of researching the far right
Abstract only
Jane Brooks

The concluding chapter summarises the book and articulates its implications. The book argues that escaping to Britain certainly saved the lives of those who found refuge in this country. However, any security the refugees found was contingent upon what they could do for Britain and not Britain’s obligation to act on humanitarian grounds. Those who entered the nursing profession were provided with a sense of security, valuable training and accommodation. Nevertheless, the provision of nursing as an opportunity was not entirely altruistic, nor were the refugees always treated with sympathy. The war years enabled the refugee nurses to demonstrate their commitment to Britain, but the concept of the ‘People’s War’, heralded in the press and by the Government, was fragile. Many of the refugees experienced antisemitism, though few dwelled on it in their testimonies. Ultimately the book argues, Jewish refugees were told to be grateful for having been saved by Britain from certain death. Perhaps the gratitude should be ours. Twenty-first-century nursing, and therefore the nation’s sick and in need, continue to reap the benefits of the refugee nurses’ work, in practice, education and research.

in Jewish refugees and the British nursing profession
Anna A. Meier

How can white researchers ethically approach the study of state responses to far-right violence in white-majority countries? The status of white supremacy as a hegemonic ideology in such countries complicates attempts to understand state programmes targeting the far right, as the very ideologies that enable far-right violence are also structurally embedded in the institutions seeking to combat it. Likewise, the white researchers best positioned to access majority white counterterrorism spaces are also the most likely to reproduce white supremacy, however inadvertently. I reflect on ethnographic encounters with counterterrorism professionals in both my home country, the US, and during fieldwork abroad in Germany, as sites requiring critical reflexivity. Through an autoethnographic approach, I consider how my identities and those of my interlocutors may have reproduced the very dynamics of institutional grappling with white supremacy otherwise unobservable to me as a researcher. I offer suggestions on how such encounters can reorient research questions and what limitations remain on white researchers doing ethical work on this subject.

in The ethics of researching the far right
Richard McNeil-Willson
,
Michael Vaughan
, and
Michael Zeller

How should researchers studying the far and extreme right relate with policy and policymakers, and what does an ethical relationship between scholars and the state look like? Whilst there is some research into whether and how academics should engage with authorities, much of this is examined through the lens of the racialised nature of counterterrorism and its securitised interaction with minority subjects. However, with greater focus in recent years on the development of policy at a national and European level to counter the far right, what duty do researchers have to engage with policymakers in its construction? Does such engagement – particularly on policymaking designed to defang the far and extreme right – undermine our ethical responsibilities and practical means for engaging with far-right actors through research? Should engagement with stakeholders be a core part of research in countering the far and extreme right, or does this entrench concepts of security criticised as stoking Islamophobia? What are the ethical questions to consider when political considerations of stakeholders come into tension with academic standards for rigorous research? And how should researchers engage with states that have been accused of openly encouraging far or extreme right movements, ideologies or policies, and that may co-opt research for reactionary purposes? This chapter draws on our experience in policymaking projects and processes as well as existing research practices and publications to develop key questions that scholars could use to consider whether and how processes of engagement could best occur.

in The ethics of researching the far right