Natural allies? Varieties of attitudes towards the United States and Russia within the French and German radical right

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper contributes to a growing literature on the international political world views and foreign policy agendas of European radical right parties with data from in-depth interviews with current and former elected representatives of Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) and Rassemblement National (RN), focusing on their attitudes towards the United States and Russia. Despite very different party structures, the interviews point to a common pattern of intra-party variation. Those who display deeper attachment to ‘elite’ and ‘people’ categories shaping interpretations of political events, revealed by attachment to conspiracy theories, showed inclination to more radical foreign policy agendas. This includes a stronger inclination to move away from traditional US-led Western or NATO allies and security frameworks and a stronger preference for cooperation with Russia. For those less deeply committed to notions of malign elite conspiracy, anti-American thinking was less prominent. For them, a sense of shared values and therefore cultural kinship with Western democracies retains relevance, and attitudes towards Russia are notably more cautious. This highlights the diversity of worldviews within the radical right, including with respect to the boundaries of transnational kinship.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1321-1337
Number of pages17
JournalNations and Nationalism
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2023


  • European Union/European Identity/Europe
  • France/French
  • Germany
  • National Identity & Foreign Policy
  • far right/radical right/populist right

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Political Science and International Relations


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