Identitarian/Identitarianism

Identitarian/Identitarianism is an ethnocultural transnational movement that sees its main purpose as defending Europe’s “identity” and ethnic purity from perceived Islamization and multiculturalism. The movement—which seeks to discriminate against people of non-European origin and eventually exclude them from democratic participation—originated in France and Italy and has spread into southern, central, and northern Europe as well as the United States. Each contingent of the movement believes older conservatives have grown complacent in protecting their countries from foreign “invasion” and multiculturalism.

Generation Identity (Génération Identitaire) is the leading identitarian group across 12 European countries. The most active chapters are in France (Génération Identitaire), Germany (Identitäre Bewegung Deutschland), and Austria (Identitäre Bewegung Österreich). Other notable active chapters are Italy (Generazione Identitaria), the Czech Republic (Generace Identity), Hungary (Identitás Generáció), and Slovenia (Generacija Identitete). European identity is the crux of Identitarianism, and the metric used to determine an individual’s claim to Europeanness is based as much on regional and national identity as well as overall European identity. According to identitarians, citizens of a European country are not European unless their ethnic background can be traced to regions or nations where autochthonous Europeans existed.

American identitarianism is associated with the alt-right ideological movement spearheaded by Richard Spencer. A self-described identitarian, Spencer has used the term to distinguish white nationalists as those who seek to protect white identity and culture. Despite this belief, Spencer rejects identitarianism as being synonymous with racism. Identity Evropa, a now disbanded American Identitarian group, claimed to represent a “generation of awakened Europeans” who “oppose those who would defame our history and rich cultural heritage.” The group’s leaders disbanded Identity Evropa in 2019, but simultaneously formed a new group called American Identity Movement (AIM). The leaders claimed AIM would remain committed to Identity Evropa’s cause while promoting nationalism, identitarianism, non-interventionism, protectionism, and populism. AIM disbanded in November 2020.

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