The Radical Right in Western Europe: A Comparative Analysis
Winner of the American Political Science Association's 1996 Woodrow Wilson Foundation Award.
The rise of new political competitors on the radical right is a central feature of many contemporary European party systems. The first study of its kind based on a wide array of comparative survey data, The Radical Right in Western Europe: A Comparative Analysis provides a unifying framework to explain why rightist parties are electorally powerful in some countries but not in others. The book argues that changes in social structure and the economy do not by themselves adequately explain the success of extremist parties. Instead we must look to the competitive struggles among parties, their internal organizational patterns, and their long-term ideological traditions to understand the principles governing their success.
Radical right authoritarian parties tend to emerge when moderate parties converge toward the median voter. But the success of these parties depends on the strategy employed by the right-wing political actors. Herbert Kitschelt's in-depth analysis, based on the experiences of rightist parties in Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, and Britain, reveals that the broadest appeal is enjoyed by parties that couple a fierce commitment to free markets with authoritarian, ethnocentric--or even racist--messages. The author also shows how a country's particular political constituency or its intellectual and organizational legacies may allow right-wing parties to diverge from these norms and still find electoral success. The book concludes by exploring the interaction between the development of the welfare state, cultural pluralization through immigrants, and the growth of the extreme right.
Herbert Kitschelt is Professor of Political Science at both Duke University and Humboldt University, Berlin. Anthony McGann is a Ph.D. candidate in political science at Duke University.
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An Interpretative and
The National Front As Prototype of the New
A Milder Version of the New Radical Right
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activists antistatist parties appeal Austrian Austrian Freedom Party authoritarian blue-collar bourgeois capitalism capitalist centrist Christian Democrats constituencies contemporary extreme Right countries cultural democracies Denmark dimension East German ecology economic elections electoral coalition electoral success electoral support elites ethnic ethnocentric European extreme-rightist parties extremist factor analysis fascist fascist movements France free market Freedom Party French German extreme Right groups hypothesis ideological immigration industrial issue positions Italian Italian Social Movement Italy left-libertarian left/right leftist less libertarian Left market liberalism ment mobilization moderate Right National Front national socialist Northern League Norway Norwegian Progress parties NRR parties occupational opportunity structure organizations parliamentary partocracy party competition party supporters party system party's percent population populist antistatist postindustrial postmaterialism procapitalist racist redistribution Republicans right-authoritarian right-wing parties rightist parties Scandinavian sector social democrats theory tion traditional vote voters welfare chauvinist white-collar winning formula workers working-class World Values Survey xenophobic