Normalising Extremism: How Far-Right Narratives Spread in the Balkans

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10/07/2023

Hate-filled comments about migrants, Roma people and the LGBT community. Praise for authoritarian regimes like Vladimir Putin’s Russia. Misogynistic and sexist abuse. Conspiracy theories about George Soros, Covid vaccines and the so-called ‘Great Replacement Theory’, a far-right notion that there is a plot to supplant white European Christians with Muslims and non-white immigrants. These are just some of the narratives often used by right-wing extremists that have also entered mainstream discourse in the Western Balkans in recent years. BIRN’s analysis of the situation in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia shows how mainstream politicians and other prominent public figures have used talking points that sound like they come from the far right, even though they may not be right-wing extremists themselves. Indeed, some of those who have used such talking points claim to be on the left of politics.

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