The Nouvelle Droite in the Post-War Period

By: Andreea Gustin

This week’s readings centered on far-right movements taking place in the post-war period, specifically the Novelle Droite (ND) the far-right political movement which emerged in France in 1968. The sources focused primarily on the French and Portuguese Nouvelle Droite but they showcased how transnationalism shaped this movement. This created a European-wide political culture of the revolutionary right in an anti-fascist age. 

Following WWII, the far-right was in a period of transition. They had to re-define their ideologies, beliefs and goals in the post-war world. In Transnationalism and the French Nouvelle Droite, author Tamir Bar-On outlines how Nouvelle Droite leader, Alain de Benoist, sought to create a new political paradigm for a new millennium. Benoist recognized that times had significantly changed post-war and that the ‘new’ Europe was “firmly anti-fascist politically and culturally more liberal and left-wing”. 

Riccardo Marchi’s article demonstrated the success of the adoption of the Nouvelle Droite agenda in Portugal. Although each of the sources this week had their own approach regarding the Nouvelle Droite, whether it be a case study or a look at the movement’s history and ideologies, they showcased the common ideas and values which resonated across European borders. 

For me, this week’s sources were interesting in seeing how the far-right was re-invented after the war. I think we often place ‘the far right’ under one umbrella. However, this showcased how there was a new right which emerged following a dark period in history. Although commonalities still existed, it shows that those on the right understood that the same approaches they once had were no longer acceptable in a post-war world. 

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