Karlsruhe Dialogues 2009

Right-Wing Extremism in Europe today

Prof. Dr. Jens Rydgen



Prof. Dr. Jens Rydgen was born in June 1969. He studied social sciences and became Doctor of Philosophy in sociology at Stockholm University in 2002. There, he received a post-doc position at the Department of Sociology, which he held until December 2003. Rydgren was researcher at the Center for Multiethnic Research at Uppsala University and acting assistant professor as well as researcher at the Department of Sociology at Stockholm University, where he was assigned associate professor (Docent) in sociology in the year 2004.

In the same year, Rydgren was co-director on the planning grant “Local Elites, Local Democracy”. Together with his colleague Christofer Edling he coordinated the research projects “Local Elite Networks and Local Democracy” from 2006 to 2008 and “History, Memory, and Ethnic Conflict” in 2006. Since 2006 he is research fellow at the Department of Sociology at Stockholm University. Rydgren received visiting scholarships from various Universities, such as the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) in Paris, the Department of Sociology at Harvard University, the European Research Centre on Migration & Ethnic Relations (ERCOMER) at Utrecht University and the Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy (ISERP) at Columbia University.

His fields of interest are political sociology, ethnic relations and sociological theory. At the moment, Rydgren is concerned with the activities of radical right-wing parties in Western Europe and analyses the xenophobic attitudes among their voters. He has published a number of monographs and articles on his topics, for example “From Tax Populism to Ethnic Nationalism. Radical Right-wing Populism in Sweden” (2006), or “Sociology of the Radical Right”, published in the Annual Review of Sociology in 2007. The book “Movements of Exclusion. Radical Right-wing Populism in the Western World” (2005) deals with definitions and the rise of different right-wing parties as well as the significance of populism in this context.

Rydgren is member of the Steering Committee of the ECPR (European Consortium for Political Research) Standing Group on Extremism and Democracy and the CINEFOGO (Network on Civil Society and New Forms of Governance in Europe). For his work, he has received research grants from several foundations, such as the Magnus Bergvall’s Foundation in 2006 and the Helge Ax:son Johnson’s Foundation in 2005/06.