Skip to main content Accessibility help

Radical conservatism and global order: international theory and the new right

  • Jean-François Drolet (a1) and Michael C Williams (a1)


The rise of the radical ‘New Right’ (NR) across much of the global political landscape is one of the most striking political developments of recent years. This article seeks to foster international theory’s critical engagement with the NR by providing an overview of its thinking about world politics and the challenges it presents. We argue that in many ways international theory is in fact uniquely positioned to provide such an engagement, and that it is essential that international theory comes to terms more fully with its political vision and theoretical claims if it is to engage effectively with this increasingly potent and often deeply troubling intellectual and political movement.


Corresponding author


Hide All
Aschheim, Steven E. 1994. The Nietzsche Legacy in Germany 1890-1990. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Bannon, Steve. 2018. ‘Soros est l’ennemi de tous les nationalismes: Entretien avec Steve Bannon’, Les Non-Alignés, July 8. Online at [10 July 2018].
Bartov, Omer. 1989. “Man and Mass: Reality and the Heroic Image of War.” History & Memory 1(2):99122.
Bassin, Mark. 2015. “Lev Gumilev and the European New Right.” Nationalities Papers: The Journal of Nationalism and Ethnicity 43(6):840865.
Behr, Hartmut, and Rosch, Felix. 2012. “Introduction.” In Hans J. Morgenthau, The Concept of the Political, edited by Hartmut Behr and Felix Rosch, 379. London: Palgrave.
Beiner, Ronald. 2018. Dangerous Minds: Nietzsche, Heidegger and the Return of the Far Right. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.
Bliese, John. 1984. “Richard Weaver: Rhetoric and the Tyrannizing Image.” Modern Age 28:208214.
Bolton, John. 2000. “Should We Take Global Governance Seriously?Chicago Journal of International Law 1(2):205221.
Breuer, Stefan. 1933. Anatomie der konservativen Revolution. Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft.
Burnham, James. 1972 [1940]. The Managerial Revolution. New York: Praeger.
Burnham, James. 1943. The Machiavellians: Defenders of Freedom. New York: John Day.
Casey, Lee A., and Rivkin, B. David. 2001. “Europe in the Balance: The Alarmingly Undemocratic Drift of the European Union.” Policy Review 107:4153.
Champetier, Charles. 1999. “La Yougoslavie en ruine: Une guerre contre l’Europe.” Éléments 95:2731.
Clover, Charles. 2016. Black Wind, White Snow: The Rise of Russia’s New Nationalism. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
De Benoist, Alain. 1979. Vu de Droite. Paris: Copernic.
De Benoist, Alain. 1994 [1993]. “The idea of empire.” Telos 98-99:8198.
De Benoist, Alain. 1999. “Un mot en quatre lettres.” Élements 95:1822.
De Benoist, Alain. 2011. “The European New Right: Forty Years Later.” In Against Democracy and Equality: The European New Right, edited by Tomislav Sunic, 1928. London: Arktos.
De Benoist, Alain. 2013. Carl Schmitt Today: Terrorism, ‘Just War’ and the State of Emergency. London: Artkos.
De Benoist, Alain. 2014. Quatres figures de la Révolution Conservatrice allemande: Werner Sombart, Arthur Moeller van den Bruck, Ernst Niekisch, Oswald Spengler. Paris: Association des Amis d’Alain de Benoist.
Drolet, Jean-François. 2014. “Ennobling Humanity: Nietzsche and the Politics of Tragedy.” Journal of International Political Theory 10(3):130.
Dugin, Alexander. 2012. The Fourth Political Theory, trans. Mark Sleboda, and Michael Millerman. London: Arktos Media.
Economist. 2018. “Dancing With Danger: Europe’s Populists are Waltzing Into the Mainstream.” The Economist 3 February:3334.
Elbe, Stefan. 2003. Europe: A Nietzschean Perspective. London: Routledge.
Ellis, John. 1975. The Social History of the Machine Gun. London: Croom Helm.
Enemark-Petersen, Ulrich. 1999. “Breathing Nietzsche’s Air: New Reflections on Morgenthau’s Concepts of Power and Human Nature.” Alternatives: Global, Local, Political 24(1):83118.
Evola, Julius. 1995 [1934]. Revolt Against the Modern World, trans. Guido Stucco. Rochester, VT: Inner Traditions.
Farrenkopf, John. 1991. “The Transformation of Spengler’s Philosophy of World History.” Journal of the History of Ideas 52(3):463485.
Faye, Guillaume. 1980. “Pour en finir avec la civilisation occidentale.” Élements 34:1734.
Faye, Guillaume. 1981. Le système à tuer les peuples. Paris: Copernic.
Faye, Guillaume. 2011. Why We Fight. London: Artkos.
Fonte, John. 2009. Sovereignty or Submission: Will Americans Rule Themselves or be Ruled by Others?. New York: Encounter.
Francis, Sam. 1992. “Nationalism: Old and New.” Chronicles June:1822.
Francis, Sam. 2016. Leviathan and its Enemies. Washington DC: Washington Summit Publishers.
Frei, Christoph. 2001. Hans Morgenthau: An Intellectual Biography. Baton Rouge: University of Louisiana Press.
Freyer, Hans. 1923. Prometheus: Ideen zur Philosophie der Kultur. Jena: Eugen Diederichs.
Freyer, Hans. 1925. Der Staat. Leipzig: Fritz Rechfelden.
Freyer, Hans. 1994 [1931]. “Revolution from the Right.” In The Weimar Reader, edited by Anton Kaes, Martin Jay, and Edward Dimendberg. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Freyer, Hans. 1930 [1929]. “Zur Philosophie der Technik.” Blattefur Deutsche Philosophie: Zeitschrift der Deutschen Philosophischen Gesellschaft, Band 3. Berlin: Junker und Dünnhaupt.
Gerstenberger, Heide. 1969. Der revolutionäre Konservatismus. Berlin: Dunker & Humblot.
Goodhart, Michael, and Taninchev, Stacy Bondanella. 2011. “The New Sovereigntist Challenge for Global Governance: Democracy Without Sovereignty.” International Studies Quarterly 55:10471068.
Gottfried, Paul. 1990. Carl Schmitt: Politics and Theory. New York: Praeger.
Gottfried, Paul. 1995. “Reconfiguring the Political Landscape.” Telos 103:111126.
Gottfried, Paul. 1999. After Liberalism. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Gottfried, Paul. 2007. Conservatism in America: Making Sense of the American Right. London: Palgrave.
Gottfried, Paul. 2012. War and Democracy. London: Artkos.
Gottfried, Paul. 2016. Fascism: The Career of a Concept. Dekalb: Northern Illinois University Press.
Gottfried, Paul. 2017. “Explaining Trump.” In Revisions and Dissent: Essays, 168178. Chicago: Northern Illinois University Press.
Gray, Rosie. 2017. “Behind the Internet’s Anti-Democracy Movement.” The Atlantic 10 February.
Greenberg, Udi. 2014. The Weimar Century: German Émigrés and the Ideological Foundations of the Cold War. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Greven, T. 2016. The Rise of Right-Wing Populism in Europe and the United States: A Comparative Perspective. Berlin: Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung.
Griffin, Roger. 2000. “Between metapolitics apoliteia: The Nouvelle Droite's Strategy for Conserving the Fascist Vision in the Interregnum.” Modern & Contemporary France, 8(1):3553.
Guilhot, Nicolas. ed. 2011. The Invention of International Relations. New York: Columbia University Press.
Guilhot, Nicolas. 2017. After the Enlightenment: Political Realism and International Relations in the Mid-Twentieth Century. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Habermas, Jürgen. 2000. The Postnational Constellation. Cambridge: Polity Press.
Hale, Thomas N., and Slaughter, Anne-Marie. 2005. “Hardt and Negri’s ‘Multitude’: the worst of both worlds.” Open Democracy 26 May.
Hale, Williams M. 2006. The Impact of Radical Right-Wing Parties in West European Democracies. London: Palgrave.
Hawley, George. 2016. Right Wing Critics of American Conservatism. Lawrence, KS: University of Kansas Press.
Heidegger, Martin. 1933. “Declaration of Support for Hitler and the National Socialist State.” In The Heidegger Controversy: A Critical Reader, edited by Richard Wolin. Cambridge MA: MIT Press.
Heidegger, Martin. 1993 [1954]. The Question Concerning Technology. In Basic Writings. London: Routledge.
Heidegger, Martin. 1959. Introduction to Metaphysics. New Haven: Yale University Press.
Herf, Jeffrey. 2002. Reactionary Modernism: Technology, Culture, and Politics in Weimar and the Third Reich. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Herman, Arthur. 1997. The Idea of Decline. New York: Free Press.
Herte, Robert de. 1980. “Ni des esclaves, ni des robots.” Élements 34:2834.
Ikenberry, John. 2012. Liberal Leviathan. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Inglehart, R, and Norris, P.. 2016. Trump, Brexit, and the rise of populism: Economic have-nots and cultural backlash. HKS Working Paper No. RWP16–026, Harvard University.
Johnson, Greg. 2012. “Toward a North American New Right.” North American New Right 1:110.
Joll, James. 1985. “Two Prophets of the Twentieth Century: Spengler and Toynbee.” Review of International Studies 11(2):91104.
Jünger, Ernst. 1993 [1930]. “Total Mobilization.” In The Heidegger Controversy: A Critical Reader, edited by Richard Wolin. Cambridge MA: MIT Press.
Jünger, Ernst. 2017 [1932]. The Worker: Dominion and Form. Evanston: Northwestern University Press.
Kondylis, Panagiotis. 1986. Konservativismus: Geschichtlicher Gehalt und Untergang. Stuttgart: Clett-Kotta.
Krebs, Pierre. 1994. Das Thule-Seminar: Geistesgegenwart du Zukunft in der Morgenröte des Ethnos. Horn: Burkhart Weecke Verlag.
Lasch, Christopher. 1996. The Revolt of the Elites. New York: Norton.
Lazaridis, Gabriella, Campani, Giovanna, and Benveniste, Annie, eds. 2016. The Rise of the Far Right in Europe. London: Palgrave.
Lenk, Kurt, Meuter, Günter, and Otten, Henrique Ricardo. 1997. Vordenker der Neuen Rechten. Francfort: Campus.
Lochi, Giorgio. 1979. “Mythe et communauté”. XIIIième Colloque federal du GRECE. Online at [8 September 2017].
Meinecke, Friedrich. 1957. Machiavellism: The Doctrine of Raison d’Etat and Its Place in Modern History. New Haven: Yale University Press.
Minkenberg, Michael. 1997. “The New Right in France and Germany: Nouvelle Droite, Neue Rechte, and the New Right Radical Parties.” In The Revival of Right Wing Extremism in the Nineties, edited by P. H. Merkl, and L Weinberg. London: Frank Cass.
Moeller van den Bruck, Arthur. 2012 [1923]. Germany’s Third Empire. London: Arktos.
Mohler, Armin. 1950. Die Konservative Revolution in Deutschland, 1918-1932. Stuttgart: Friedrich Vorwerck-Verlag.
Mudde, C. 2007. Populist Right Parties in Europe. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Mudde, C. 2016. The study of populist radical right parties: Towards a fourth wave. C-REX Working Paper Series No. 1, Centre for Research on Extremism, the Extreme Right, Hate Crime, and Political Violence, University of Oslo.
Mueller, Jerry Z. 1988. The Other God that Failed: Hans Freyer and the De-Radicalization of German Conservatism. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Muis, J., and Immerzeel, T.. 2017. “Causes and consequences of the rise of populist radical right parties and movements in Europe.” Current Sociology/La Sociologie Contemporaine 65(6):909930.
Müller, Jan-Werner. 2017. “What is Populism?.” Old Main, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press.
Nietzsche, Friedrich. 1996 [1878–1800]. Human, All Too Human, tr. RJ Hollingdale. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Nietzsche, Friedrich. 1999 [1872]. The Birth of Tragedy and Other Writings, tr. R Speirs. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Nietzsche, Friedrich. 2002 [1886]. Beyond Good and Evil, tr. J Norman. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Norris, Pippa. 2005. Radical Right: Voters and Parties in the Electoral Market. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
O’Meara, Michael. 2013 [2004]. New Culture, New Right: Anti-Liberalism in Postmodern Europe. London: Artkos.
Patocka, Jan. 1999 [1975]. “Wars of the Twentieth Century and the Twentieth Century as War.” In Heretical Essays in the Philosophy of History, edited by James Dodd, 119138. Chicago: Open Court.
Pick, Daniel. 1996. War Machine: The Rationalisation of Slaughter in the Modern Age. New Haven: Yale University Press.
Rauschning, Hermann. 1941. The Conservative Revolution. New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons.
Scheuerman, William. 2009. Morgenthau. Cambridge: Polity Press.
Schmitt, Carl. 2007 [1927]. The Concept of the Political, tr. Tracy Strong. Chicago: Chicago University Press.
Schmitt, Carl. 2007 [1929]. “The Age of Neutralizations and Politicization.” In The Concept of the Political, 80-97, translated by George Schwab. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Schmitt, Carl. 1962. “L’Ordre du monde après la deuxième guerre mondiale.” In Carl Schmitt. La Guerre Civile Mondiale, Essais (1943-1978), edited by Céline Jouin. Paris: Ère.
Schmitt, Carl. 2008. The Leviathan in the State Theory of Thomas Hobbes: Meaning and Failure of a Political Symbol. Chicago: University of Chicago.
Scotchie, Joseph. 1999. The Paleoconservatives: New Voices of the Old Right. New York: Routledge.
Sedgwick, Mark. 2009. Against the Modern World: The Hidden History of the Twentieth Century. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Shekhovtsov, Anton. 2017. Russia and the Western Far Right: Tango Noir. London: Routledge.
Shenk, Timothy. 2016. “The dark history of Donald Trump’s rightwing revolt.” Guardian 5 May.
Siegel, Jacob. 2016. “The Alt-Right’s Jewish Godfather.” Tablet November 29.
Slaughter, Anne-Marie. 2004. A New World Order. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Sorel, Louis. 1999. “Le nouvel Atlantisme contre l’Europe.” Éléments 94:724.
Spektorowski, Alberto. 2003. “The New Right: ethno-regionalism, ethno-pluralism and the emergence of a neo-fascist ‘Third Way’.” Journal of Political Ideologies 8(3):111130.
Spengler, Oswald. 1928 [1918, 1922, 1926]. The Decline of the West, 2 vols. London: Allen & Unwin.
Spengler, Oswald. 2015 [1931]. Man and Technics. London: Arktos.
Stern, Fritz. 1961. The Politics of Cultural Despair: A Study in the Rise of the Germanic Ideology. New York: Anchor Books.
Sunic, Tomislav. 2011 [1990]. Against Democracy and Equality: The European New Right. London: Arktos.
Sunic, Tomislav. 2007. Homo Americanus: Child of the Postmodern Age. London: Artkos.
Travers, Martin. 2001. Critics of Modernity: The Literature of the Conservative Revolution in Germany, 1890-1933. Oxford: Peter Lang.
Versluis, Arthus. 2014. “A Conversation with Alain de Benoist.” Journal for the Study of Radicalism 8(2):79106.
Von Hoffmannstahl, Hugo. 1927. Das Schriftum als gestiger Raum der Nation. Munich: Bremer Presse.
Von Klemperer, Klemens. 1957. Germany’s New Conservatism. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Williams, Michael C. 2013. “In the Beginning: The International Relations Enlightenment and the Ends of International Theory.” European Journal of International Relations 19(3):647665.
Woods, Roger. 1996. The Conservative Revolution in the Weimar Republic. New York: St. Martin’s.
Yockney, Francis Parker. 1962. Imperium, the Philosophy of History and Politics. New York: The Truth Seeker.


Related content

Powered by UNSILO

Radical conservatism and global order: international theory and the new right

  • Jean-François Drolet (a1) and Michael C Williams (a1)


Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed.