Extreme Right Parties in Western Europe

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OUP Oxford, May 29, 2003 - Political Science - 272 pages
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This book has three aims. Firstly, it explores the extreme right in order to assess its ideological meaning and its political expression. Beginning with a discussion of the meaning and usefulness of the Left-Right distinction, it deals with the varying significance of the term 'right' and discusses the appropriateness of the competing terms: 'radical', 'new', 'populist', and 'extreme right'. The book argues that the traditional neo-fascist party has been supplanted by a new type of extreme right party, unrelated to fascist ideology, but nevertheless opposed to the fundamental values of the democratic political system. The book's second aim is to carry out an in-depth analysis of the post-war evolution of the extreme right of each country in Western Europe. The analysis highlights their lineage from pre-war fascist regimes or movements, their different partisan expressions in the post-war period, their ideological profile, their party's relationship with other actors in the party system, the socio-demographic and attitudinal profile of their voter-base, and finally the conditions which have favoured or inhibited their development. Finally, the book discusses in detail more recent trends within the West European extreme right and outlines a conceptual framework for explaining the success or failure of each political party. The volume, extensively revised, expanded, and updated from its original widely acclaimed Italian edition, will be essential reading for all those working on parties and movements in Western Europe.

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About the author (2003)

Piero Ignazi is at University of Bologna.