Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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The Nature of the Alt-Right

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posted on 2022-03-06, 23:47 authored by Byron Williams
The presidential campaign and eventual election of president Donald Trump emboldened and highlighted the existence of a fringe group known as the alt-right, short for alternative right. While the term was coined in 2008 by white nationalist Richard Spencer, it was the campaign rhetoric of Trump which brought national and global attention to an internet fringe group which ideologically aligned with the president’s often racist and hyper-nationalist agenda. This study aims to explain the nature of the alt-right and ask to what degree it can be considered as fascist. An ideal type of fascism has been constructed drawing on authors such as Michael Mann, Robert Paxton and Roger Eatwell and I aim to use this to explore the connections between twentieth century fascism and the alt-right. I argue that the alt-right should be viewed as fascist, acting within a period of history which is reminiscent of the proto-fascist era of interwar Europe. Although independent of Trump, the alt-right’s white nationalist/neo-Nazi agenda is explicitly and implicitly supported and encouraged by the new president.


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Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Author Retains All Rights

Degree Discipline


Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Arts

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code

1 Pure Basic Research

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Social and Cultural Studies


el-Ojeili, Chamsy