Croatia’s far-right fringe isn’t exactly dangerous… yet

This post is a response to an Al-Jazeera article on the topic of Croatia’s own self-branded “alt-right” movement.

As the article explains, Croatia’s far-right is reorganizing and renewing itself. Rightly so, this deserves attention and should be watched. Shifting from traditional neo-Nazism and 20th century fascist ideals, Frano Cirko and his “Generation of Renovation” party are branching out. Instead of fighting communism, they are facing more contemporary issues and striving to make the far-right in Croatia relevant and attractive.

However, Cirko’s “movement” is anything from mainstream. With only around 200 members and a mostly online presence, it is hard to consider the party as dangerous.

This is because Cirko and the “Generation of Renovation” party haven’t tapped into some of the fundamentals of populist movements.


Yes, there are national grievances to exploit and a history with fascism (See Croatia’s Nazi affiliations during WWII) that could be framed successfully by the party. But is Cirko a strong leader? Can he push his party into political relevance despite Croatia’s rigid political system? Overall, can the “movement” be made attractive despite Croatia’s ruling party’s prominence?

These are critical stepping stones for making far-right movements and populism palatable to voters.

Cirko and his party are definitely trying to achieve these fundamentals, and it would be ignorant to not acknowledge this. By modernizing and re-branding the far-right in Croatia to a younger generation through social media, Cirko is ultimately making a political investment.

That is why Cirko and his party are not considered a dangerous political player as of now. Of course, that could easily change depending on how successful his campaign plays out.


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