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The first comprehensive and truly pan-European study of populist radical right parties in Europe.
A look at the forces behind the rise of contemporary Europe's radical right.
Radical right-wing populist parties, such as Geert Wilders’ Party for Freedom, Marine Le Pen’s National Front or Nigel Farage’s UKIP, are becoming increasingly influential in Western European democracies. Their electoral support is growing, their impact on policy-making is substantial, and in recent years several radical right-wing populist parties have assumed office or supported minority governments. Are these developments the cause and/or consequence of the mainstreaming of radical right-wing populist parties? Have radical right-wing populist parties expanded their issue profiles, moderated their policy positions, toned down their anti-establishment rhetoric and shed their extreme right reputations to attract more voters and/or become coalition partners? This timely book answers these questions on the basis of both comparative research and a wide range of case studies, covering Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, the Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. Analysing the extent to which radical right-wing populist parties have become part of mainstream politics, as well as the factors and conditions which facilitate this trend, this book is essential reading for students and scholars working in European politics, in addition to anyone interested in party politics and current affairs more generally.
The first cross-regional study to show that populism can have both positive and negative effects on democracy.
Are populist radical right (PRR) parties the only alternatives for voters seeking restrictive and assimilationist outcomes? Or is a mainstream choice available? Popular opinion and social media commentaries often criticize mainstream parties for facing in the same liberal and multicultural direction. Literature on parties and elections equally suggests a convergence of policy positions and the disappearance of any significant differences between parties. This edited volume is an attempt to challenge such perceptions and conclusions. By systematically coding manifestos for seventeen mainstream and six PRR parties in Western Europe, the book explores positional differences between mainstream and niche contenders over three key elections between 2002 and 2015. The findings indicate more choice than initially expected, but these restrictive and assimilationist options are usually in close proximity to each other and typically less intense than those of the PRR. This can help explain the continuous growth of the PRR despite the presence of a mainstream alternative. Yet party system dynamics also matter. Contributing authors thus investigate a number of arguments in the precarious relationship between mainstream parties, the electorate and the PRR, as well as between different mainstream parties.
Studies the new West European parties of the radical populist right, arguing that, in distancing themselves from the reactionary politics of the traditional extremist right, these parties have become a significant challenge to the established structure and politics of West European democracy today.
The populist radical right is one of the most studied political phenomena in the social sciences, counting hundreds of books and thousands of articles. This is the first reader to bring together the most seminal articles and book chapters on the contemporary populist radical right in western democracies. It has a broad regional and topical focus and includes work that has made an original theoretical contribution to the field, which make them less time-specific. The reader is organized in six thematic sections: (1) ideology and issues; (2) parties, organizations, and subcultures; (3) leaders, members, and voters; (4) causes; (5) consequences; and (6) responses. Each section features a short introduction by the editor, which introduces and ties together the selected pieces and provides discussion questions and suggestions for further readings. The reader is ended with a conclusion in which the editor reflects on the future of the populist radical right in light of (more) recent political developments – most notably the Greek economic crisis and the refugee crisis – and suggest avenues for future research.

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