Gloucester City Hall
Global Trends: The Rise of Right-Wing Extremism
Washington-based author, novelist, playwright and foreign policy analyst John Feffer will look at the rise of right-wing extremist movements across the world and survey the global challenges for U.S. foreign policy during the final phase of the most contentious national election we’ve had in years at a free Cape Ann Forum on Sunday, September 25 at 7 p.m. at Gloucester City Hall.
For more than a century, most countries have produced some version of a conservative and a liberal party that alternated in power, says Feffer. “Now, however, this stable political order seems on the verge of collapse.”
Spreading global conflict, anger at economic and political elites, and a mass migration crisis are fueling a rise of right-wing populism in the United States, Europe, and elsewhere not seen since the 1930s. What do these trends have in common and where is it headed are among the themes he addresses.
The director of Foreign Policy in Focus, a “think tank without wall” sponsored by the Institute for Policy Studies, Feffer has written extensively on the emergence of such ultra-nationalist, anti-immigrant parties as France’s National Front, the UK Independence Party, the Swedish Democratic Party, and the Freedom Party of Austria, as well as right-wing populism in the United States.
His work has been published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Nation, The American Prospect, Salon, The Progressive, The Christian Science Monitor, The Boston Globe, and other publications. He has been a Writing Fellow at Provisions Library in Washington, D.C., and a PanTech fellow in Korean Studies at Stanford University. In 2012-13, he was an Open Society Fellow looking at the transformations in Eastern Europe since 1989.
Feffer is also a former associate editor of World Policy Journal and previously worked as an international affairs representative in Eastern Europe and East Asia for the American Friends Service Committee. He has studied in England and Russia, lived in Poland and Japan, and traveled widely in Europe and Asia.
His non-fiction books include Crusade 2.0: The West’s resurgent war against Islam (2012), North Korea/South Korea: U.S. Policy and the Korean Peninsula (2011), Living in hope: People challenging globalization (2011) and Europe’s new nationalism: States and minorities in conflict (1996).
Feffer is also an accomplished creative writer, producing two novels and six plays, including three one-man shows. One of them, Before/After is a multimedia portrait of the transformation of East-Central Europe based on interviews with the people who made it happen. Through words, pictures, video, and music, it tells the story of the people who chipped away at the Iron Curtain, tore down the Berlin Wall in 1989, and tried to realize their hopes and dreams in the decades that followed.
His first novel, Foamers (1997), was a thriller about a train buff and an FBI agent who joined forces to catch a serial train-wrecker. His second novel, Splinterlands, due out this November, has been described as part Field Notes from a Catastrophe, part 1984, and part World War Z—“a striking dystopian novel that takes us deep into the battered, shattered world of 2050.”
This will be the first lecture of the Cape Ann Forum’s 16th season as it closes in on its 100th such event since 2001. The all-volunteer organization has put on six or more free programs each year since its founding, but organizers say they are scaling back on their own events this year while cosponsoring more programs on international affairs by other local organizations.