Karlsruhe Dialogues 2009

Right-Wing Extremism in Europe today

Dr. Rafal Pankowski



Dr. Rafal Pankowski was born in 1976 and comes from Poland. He studied politics, philosophy and economy at Oxford University as well as political science at the University of Warsaw/Poland. He received his Ph.D. and as an expert in extremism today coordinates a research programme at the College Civitas at the University of Warsaw.

Pankowski deals with the topics racism and nationalism in several boocks, such as in “Neofaschismus in Westeuropa” (1998) and “Rassismu und Alltagskultur” (2006), as well as in a great number of articles for example in The Economist, Index on Censorship and Searchlight. He is vice-editor of the journal “Nigdy Wiecej” (Never again), which belongs to the association of the same name. Since 1996 this association is officially accepted and it can be found in different polish cities. “Never again” is an independent organisation without any connection to a political party. Its members want to sharpen the public awareness of the problems of racism and xenophobia. The association has contact to various communities and minorities. In a database called the “Brown Book” all racist incidences and other xenophobic criminal acts, which have been committed in Poland, are registered. “Never again” wants to promote for multicultural comprehension and to contribute itself to the development of a democratic society. One of the central topics is the problem of the development of racist and ethnic prejudices among young people. The association offers its information to interested journalists and researchers. About 2000 articles, books, TV- and radiobroadcasts have already been produced with the help of “Never again”. It has cooperated with international organisations (such as the Council of Europe and the UN) and participated in numerous international networks (UNITED, Football against Racism in Europe). The Journal reports about right-wing extremist groups in Poland and Europe and provides analyses about their criminal acts.

ZAK asked Dr. Rafal Pankowski to answer the following question:

What can citizens do Against Right-Wing Extremism? 

"The major objective of our organization, the 'NEVER AGAIN' Association, is to break the silence and raise awareness of the problem of racism and xenophobia in contemporary Poland. ‘NEVER AGAIN’ closely monitors racism and xenophobia on the ground. Through its national network of voluntary correspondents and regular grass-roots contacts with various minority communities, ‘NEVER AGAIN’ has built the most extensive register of racist incidents and other xenophobic crimes committed in Poland, the ‘Brown Book’. "