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The New Politics of Hate? An Assessment of the Appeal of the English Defence League Amongst Disadvantaged White Working- Class Communities in England

Authors:

Jon Garland ,

University of Leicester, GB
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James Treadwell

University of Leicester, GB
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Abstract

Since the summer of 2009 in the United Kingdom there have been a number of violent clashes amongst white and south Asian males, antifascist demonstrators, and the police. These disturbances have centred around the activities of a new far-right grouping, the English Defence League (EDL), which claims to oppose ‘radical Islam’. This article charts the growth of the EDL and examines its motivations and ideologies. It argues that the increasing influence of this organisation reflects wider socio-economic and political processes, and in particular needs to be understood in light of the contemporary state of ‘post-politics’ in which the UK is embroiled. Drawing on our own empirical research, we argue that the growth in popularity of the EDL amongst some segments of England’s marginalised and disenfranchised white working class must be understood in the context of the failure of mainstream political discourses to reach out to these communities, who have instead turned to the EDL as an organisation through which they can vent their anger at the ‘Islamic other’ rather than at the political and financial classes that are the real source of their disadvantage.
How to Cite: Garland, J. and Treadwell, J., 2012. The New Politics of Hate? An Assessment of the Appeal of the English Defence League Amongst Disadvantaged White Working- Class Communities in England. Journal of Hate Studies, 10(1), p.123. DOI: http://doi.org/10.33972/jhs.116
Published on 01 Jan 2012.

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