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Research projects

Positive affect in ecofascist ideology and propaganda

About this project

Project information

Project status

In progress 2020 - 2025


Maria Jansson

Research subject

Research environments

This study examines how nature, ecology and climate change are affectively communicated in fascist movements. White supremacists often motivate their nationalist engagement as driven by love, care and empathy. Ecofascism – the combination of the far-right and ecology – can as such be understood by its adherents as a ‘love-project’, aiming to purge and ‘return to’ an idealised white and green future. Literature on affect within the far right has mostly assessed how commonly deemed ‘negative’ emotions like hate and fear circulate in white supremacist movements. We however see an ideological turn the last decades in the Scandinavian post-skinhead era, where violence is downplayed, performed defensively rather than offensively, and on scale so as to avoid persecution. This research project examines positive affect as potential sources of emotional energy in the contemporary Nordic fascist era, with a focus on ecofascism.

Ecofascism is a subset of fascism that combines fascist ideas with notions of ecological balance. Ecofascism is not a specific, easily delimited phenomena and can take many shapes in the political reality. Most knows are perhaps the shootings committed in a Christchurch Mosque in New Zealand in 2019, and the subsequent terror attacks on Muslims, queer and racialised people that has followed. The perpetrators of these crimes legitimised their attacks by claiming that white homogeneity, fervent nationalism and reactionary politics in the form of a “natural law” is the only way to resist social and natural collapse. 

(Eco)Fascist and national socialist ideology may function as a source of positive emotional energy expressed through utopic visions, nostalgia, imaginaries of a pure and ‘natural’ future, and typically considered ‘positive’ imaginaries of nationalism. These imaginaries, seen in political communication like manifestos and podcast discussions, are structured by gender, race, and nonhuman-human relations in order to cement white, male supremacy.

Studying the emotional appeal of ecofascism is important because channelling affect into positive emotions like love, pride, empathy and joy in its audience through discourse and propaganda contributes to increase fascist motivation and mobilization. It also contributes to legitimise oppression of others and neutralise and mainstream white supremacism, which allows fascism’s toxic idea complex to evolve and spread through imaginaries of nature and environmentalism.

Research funding bodies

  • Örebro University