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Welcome to the new online home of the ECPR Standing Group on Extremism & Democracy. Please update your bookmarks to:

About us

The ECPR Standing Group on Extremism & Democracy was founded in 1999 by Roger Eatwell (Bath University) and Cas Mudde (University of Antwerp). The current co-convenors are Elisabeth Carter (Keele University) and David Art (Tufts University). The Standing Group provides a platform and infrastructure to the broad range of scholars working on various aspects of 'extremism and democracy' around the world. We welcome scholars from fields such as sociology, (social) psychology or (contemporary) history. However, as a Standing Group of the European Consortium of Political Science (ECPR), our main focus is on the political aspects of extremism. Moreover, and in keeping with the ECPR-tradition, we particularly welcome scholars who work in a comparative spirit.


The Standing Group is academically neutral and is not meant to become a battle ground for the unfortunate ideological battles that have hampered much research on political extremism. Rather, it provides a meeting ground for serious scholars from all theoretical persuasions. Although we use the term 'extremism', we do not want to exclude scholars working with other terms to describe similar phenomena (such as fascism, fundamentalism, populism, radicalism, terrorism etc).

While most contemporary academic studies of extremism still study the phenomenon in isolation of its environment, the Standing Group's name indicates its interest in the political role of extremism, as well as the specifics of the phenomenon itself. We are particularly interested in the (inter-)relation between extremism and democracy. Thereby, the focus can be also on democracy, i.e. how democracy can fight extremism without becoming extremist itself. In addition to political theoretical/philosophical studies this could also include empirical work into (comparative) 'anti-extremist' provisions in different world polities and their effects. In other words, we aim to integrate colleagues working on topics as diverse as:
- extreme right parties in Western Europe;
- communist organisations in the post-Soviet space;
- Jewish terrorists in Israel;
- religious fundamentalism in the Middle East;
- populism in Latin America;
- eco-warriors in the UK;
- anti-globalisation groups in the US;
- political violence in South Africa;
- contentious politics in New Zealand;
- Hindu radicalism in India, etcetera.


The Standing Group maintains an elaborate online database that contains the contact information and research interests of Standing Group members. The database has proved to be a valuable resource to academics, students, and the media.

Since 2000, the Standing Group has also published a quartely electronic newsletter, e-Extreme, which contains news from the profession and alerts scholars to conferences, fellowships, recent publications, and publication opportunities. The newsletter also contains an extensive book review section.  

The Standing Group aims to be represented at ECPR conferences (Joint Sessions, General Conferences, and Graduate Conferences) and organize panels there whenever possible.

Roger Eatwell and Cas Mudde continue to edit Routledge Studies on Extremism and Democracy, in which members and non-members can publish research monographs and edited volumes that deal with questions of extremism and democracy.


The Standing Group is run by a convenor, who is responsible for the coordination of the group's activities. The current co-convenors are David Art (Tufts University) and Elisabeth Carter (Keele University).

The convenor is joined by a team of editors that assures the publication of the Standing Group's newsletter e-Extreme. The current editorial team consists of  managing editor Jennifer Holmes (University of Texas at Dallas), editor William M. Downs (Georgia State University) and reviews editors Sarah de Lange (University of Amsterdam) and Matthew Goodwin (University of Manchester).


The membership of the ECPR Standing Group on Extremism & Democracy has been growing ever since it was founded. As of August 2008, the group had nearly 700 members from 50 different countries. While political extremism is a world dominated by men, our Standing Group has over 200 female members, which corresponds to roughly one third of our membership. The largest group of our members focus on issues related to ‘right-wing extremism,’ such as anti-Semitism, fascism, and nationalism. A growing group of members is involved in research on religious fundamentalism, terrorism, counter-terrorism, and political violence. We also have sizable groups of members working on the following topics: the extreme left, democratization, human rights, new social movements, contentious politics, national identity, and Euroscepticism.

As we do not register the status of the members, we are unaware how many graduate students are included in our ranks. We would like to extend a warm invitation to all PhD students working on topics of extremism and democracy to join our group.

Anyone, faculty or graduate student, interested in joining the ECPR Standing Group on Extremism & Democracy, or in receiving more information on its activities, please contact one of the co-convenors by email.


For further information please contact the co-convenors:

David Art
Department of Political Science
Tufts University
Eaton Hall
Medford, MA 02155

Elisabeth Carter
School of Politics, International Relations & Philosophy (SPIRE)
Keele University
Keele, Staffs ST5 5BG
United Kingdom

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