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Populist Radical Right Parties in Europe


  • 18 tables
  • Page extent: 404 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.66 kg


 (ISBN-13: 9780521616324)

Populist radical right parties in Europe

As Europe enters a significant phase of re-integration of East and West, it faces an increasing problem with the rise of far-right political parties. Cas Mudde offers the first comprehensive and truly pan-European study of populist radical right parties in Europe. He focuses on the parties themselves, discussing them both as dependent and independent variables. Based upon a wealth of primary and secondary literature, this book offers critical and original insights into three major aspects of European populist radical right parties: concepts and classifications; themes and issues; and explanations for electoral failures and successes. It concludes with a discussion of the impact of radical right parties on European democracies, and vice versa, and offers suggestions for future research.

CAS MUDDE is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Political Science at the University of Antwerp. He is the author of The Ideology of the Extreme Right (2000) and the editor of Racist Extremism in Central and Eastern Europe (2005).

Populist radical right parties
in Europe

Cas Mudde
University of Antwerp

Cambridge, New York, Melbourne, Madrid, Cape Town, Singapore, São Paulo

Cambridge University Press
The Edinburgh Building, Cambridge CB2 8RU, UK

Published in the United States of America by Cambridge University Press, New York
Information on this title:

© Cas Mudde 2007

This publication is in copyright. Subject to statutory exception
and to the provisions of relevant collective licensing agreements,
no reproduction of any part may take place without
the written permission of Cambridge University Press.

First published 2007

Printed in the United Kingdom at the University Press, Cambridge

A catalogue record for this publication is available from the British Library

Library of Congress Cataloguing in Publication data
Mudde, Cas.
Populist radical right parties in Europe / Cas Mudde.
p. cm.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN13: 978-0-521-85081-0 (hardback)
ISBN-10: 0-521-85081-9 (hardback)
ISBN-13: 978-0-521-61632-4 (paperback)
ISBN-10: 0-521-61632-8 (paperback)
1. Political parties – Europe. 2. Conservatism – Europe. 3. Populism – Europe.
4. Right and Left (Political science) 5. Europe – Politics and government – 1945 – I. Title.
JN50.M84 2007
324.2′13094 – dc22 2006101016

ISBN 978-0-521-85081-0 hardback
ISBN 978-0-521-61632-4 paperback

Cambridge University Press has no responsibility for the persistence or accuracy of URLs
for external or third-party internet websites referred to in this book, and does not
guarantee that any content on such websites is, or will remain, accurate or appropriate.

For Jan, Sarah and Sivan

“I hate white people.”


“They’re mean.”

“Did white people ever bother you?”

“Hell, naw! I wouldn’t let ’em,” she said belligerently.

“Then why do you hate ’em?”

“’Cause they’re different from me. I don’t like ’em even to look

at me. They make me self-conscious, that’s why. Ain’t that enough.”

“If you say so, baby.”

(Richard Wright, The Outsider. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1953, 48)

“The enemy is the gramophone mind, whether or not one agrees with the record that is being played at the moment.”

(George Orwell, “Telling people what they don’t want to hear: the original preface to Animal Farm”, Dissent (Winter 1996): 59–64 [63])


  List of tables page ix
  Acknowledgments xi
  List of abbreviations xv
  Introduction 1
Part I   Concepts
1   Constructing a conceptual framework 11
2   From conceptualization to classification: which parties? 32
Part II   Issues
3   Who’s afraid of . . . ? 63
4   Männerparteien 90
5   It’s not the economy, stupid! 119
6   Populist radical right democracy 138
7   “Europe for the Europeans” 158
8   Globalization: the multifaced enemy 184
Part III   Explanations
9   Demand-side: in search of the perfect breeding ground 201
10   External supply-side: political opportunity structures 232
11   Internal supply-side: the populist radical right party 256
12   Assessing impact: populist radical right parties vs. European democracies 277
13   Conclusions 293
  Appendix A Populist radical right parties 305
  Appendix B Questionnaire 309
  Bibliography 312
  Index 368


  1.1  Summary table of ideological features per party page 21
  1.2  Ladder of abstraction of nativist ideologies 24
  2.1  Main populist radical right parties in contemporary Europe 44
  2.2  Some borderline parties that are not populist radical right 52
  3.1  Typology of enemies 65
  4.1  Female representation in organs of the major French parties (1990s) 102
  4.2  Female representation in populist radical right party factions in the European Parliament (1979–2009) 103
  4.3  Female representation in populist radical right parliamentary factions in Central and Eastern Europe, 1992–2005 105
  4.4  Gender distribution of the membership of major Dutch parties 110
  7.1  Typology of party positions on European integration 162
  7.2  Typology of nationalisms and views of the European Union 166
  9.1  Democratic support and electoral success of populist radical right parties in Eastern Europe 208
  9.2  Number of asylum applications and electoral success of populist radical right parties per country, 1989–1998 212
  9.3  Number of refugees per 1,000 inhabitants and electoral success of populist radical right parties per country, 1999–2003 213
  9.4  Ethnic diversity and electoral success of populist radical right parties in Eastern Europe, 1990–2005 214
  9.5  Ethnic polarization and electoral success of populist radical right parties in Eastern Europe, 1990–2005 216
  10.1  Fascist past and populist radical right electoral success (1990–2005) by country 246
  12.1  Populist radical right parties in European national government since 1980 280


At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.

(Albert Schweitzer)

Writing a book with such a broad geographical scope one always has to rely upon the insights from many other scholars. As the literature on populist radical right parties is highly limited in terms of cases and topics studied, e.g. an enormous predominance of studies on France and Germany, I depended for much information upon the personal insights from many of my colleagues of the ECPR Standing Group on Extremism & Democracy. Several of these national experts were willing to fill in my short questionnaire on particular populist radical right parties (see appendix B), the data of which have proved essential for many chapters of this book. Other friends and colleagues helped me with obtaining specific data and translating some primary sources. My special thanks go to Daniele Albertazzi, Florian Bieber, Michaela Grün, Tim Haughton, J. W. Justice, Ioannis Kolovos, Natalya Krasnoboka, Borbala Kriza, Nicole Lindstrom, Miroslav Mareš, Oscar Mazzoleni, Juan Anton Mellón, Daniel Milo, Niall O Dochartaigh, Michael Rossi, Marek Rybár, Maria Spirova, Peter Ucen, and Eric Weaver. They are proof that even in this competitive period of “publish or perish” academic cooperation is still possible. I hope to return the favor in the future.

I also sent out a slightly revised questionnaire to some fifteen populist radical right parties, mostly smaller organizations from Eastern Europe. While some email addresses bounced, most parties must have received the questionnaire. Unfortunately, only two responded. The Irish Immigration Control Platform (ICP) wrote a short email back, of which the key message was: “Since we are not a party and are strictly single issue I do not see how we can fall within your remit.” Despite the reference to Sartori’s minimal definition of political parties in my answer, I did not hear from them again. The only party to send back a completely filled out questionnaire was the French Front national, ironically the best-studied of all parties. I want to thank Patrick Gaillard, from the communications directorate of the FN, for taking the time to respond to my query.

Over the period of writing this book, I presented various earlier draft versions of chapters to audiences around the globe. It would go too far to mention all of them, so I will provide just a short overview: conferences, such as the tenth annual conference of the Association for the Study of Nationalities (ASN) in New York and the Politicologenetmaal in Antwerp; specialized workshops at the Department of Government of the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Beer-Sheva and at the European Center of the Australian National University in Canberra; and lectures at Sciences-Po in Paris, the University of Texas at Dallas, and the Contemporary Europe Research Centre of the University of Melbourne. I want to thank everyone who attended these meetings for their curiosity and valuable feedback.

Several colleagues have commented on earlier drafts of one or more of the chapters. I feel privileged to have received so much interest in my work from people who are tremendously busy with putting out so many important studies on the same topic themselves. Special thanks go to David Art, Hans-Georg Betz, Alexandre Dézé, Dani Filc, Susanne Frölich-Steffen, Nonna Mayer, Lars Rensmann, Damir Skenderovic, Joop Van Holsteyn, and Lien Warmenbol. Their comments have often been confronting, but they were always constructive and useful.

Leading the life of an academic “Gypsy” does involve many a lonely moment, but I feel blessed to have some true friends among my colleagues. Petr Kopecký, Luke March, Ami Pedahzur, and Joop Van Holsteyn all share an interest in “my” topic, but work (mainly) on other topics. This notwithstanding, all have in their own way contributed more to this book than they will ever know. I hope I will be able to repay them for many more years to come.

Much of the secondary literature was collected during my (too) short stints as visiting scholar at various institutions. In the summer of 2001 I fought off the many lures of beach life in California to make full use of the extensive facilities of the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB). I want to thank Peter H. Merkl for helping me set up this visit and the Department of Political Science for hosting me. In April 2005 I stayed for three weeks at the Center for European Studies of New York University (NYU). I owe Leah Ramirez and Martin Schain eternal gratitude for enabling me to experience the wonderful world of the Elmer Holmes Bobst Library. Housed at the buzzing Washington Square in The Village, the Bobst Library is an intellectual oasis for scholars and students alike; not just for its fantastic collection, but even more importantly for its accessibility. It serves as an enlightening example for all university libraries.

Similarly, working a few weeks in the highly personal and surveyable library of my old institution, the Central European University in Budapest, in the summer of 2005, was a treat. I thank Zsolt Enyedi, Éva Lafferthon, and Krisztina Zsukotynszky for helping me arrange this trip, and my many old colleagues and students for our trips along memory lane.

More new, but definitely as exciting, is my current experience as Fulbright EU Scholar-in-Residence at the Center for Comparative European Studies of Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, in New Brunswick. Here, Jan Kubik, Susanna Trish, and Audrey Boyd have helped me adjust in an extremely short period, so that I could still meet my deadline, despite the rather hectic move from Belgium to the US. Special thanks go to my new personal editor, Amy Linch, who unselfishly put her PhD on hold to edit my manuscript. Amy introduced words I had never encountered before and forced me to clarify many of my assumptions and thoughts. Without her, this book would truly not be the same.

Working at a small university in Europe, which the University of Antwerp undoubtedly is, has many advantages, often outweighing the disadvantages. However, when writing a book such as this, extensive library facilities are essential. The trips to other universities were vital for getting access to all the articles and books I had seen referred to in other works, yet did not have access to in Antwerp. I can only hope to have more opportunities to visit them in the future. Whether this will be the case depends to a large extent on the generosity of academic funding bodies, to which I already owe a great gratitude.

During my time at the Department of Politics of the University of Edinburgh (2000–2002), my research was supported by the British Academy and the Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland. Since I moved to the Department of Political Science at the University of Antwerp in the summer of 2002, a grant from the Flemish Fonds voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (Fund for Scientific Research, FWO) has enabled me to go to New York. Finally, the Fulbright Fellowship has enabled me to work during the last stage of the book in the US, shielded from the daily administrative and teaching duties of my home university.

Special thanks go to my many former colleagues and students from all over the globe. While working on this book, I have taught courses on “Extreme right parties in Europe” in many different countries and at various universities. Without both the encouragement of my colleagues and the criticism of my students I would have neither embarked upon writing this book, nor finished it. More importantly, my students have often forced me to reconsider the few certainties I thought we held in the field.

Finally, my deep gratitude goes to my first group of (former) PhD students at the University of Antwerp: Sarah De Lange, Sivan Hirsch-Hoefler, and Dr. Jan Jagers. They have given me the energy and intellectual stimulation to bite through the (many) moments of despair and self-doubt. All three have very different backgrounds and personalities, but share the wonderful combination of intellectual curiosity and personal warmth. I dedicate this book to them.


AN National Alliance
ANL Anti-Nazi League
ANO Alliance for a New Citizen
AP Swiss Car Party
AS Social Alternative
ASN Association for the Study of Nationalities
AUNS Action Society for an Independent and Neutral Switzerland
AWS Solidarity Electoral Action
BBB Bulgarian Business Bloc
BNP British National Party
BNRP Bulgarian National Radical Party
BZÖ Alliance for Austria’s Future
CAP Common Agricultural Policy (EU)
CD Centre Democrats
CDU Christian Democratic Union
CEEC Central Eastern European country
CP’86 Centre Party ’86
CSU Christian Social Union
DFP Danish People’s Party
DLVH German League for People and Homeland
DN National Democracy
DPNI Russian Movement against Illegal Immigration
DUP Democratic Unionist Party
DVU German People’s Union
EC European Communities
ECPR European Consortium for Political Research
EK National Party (Greece)
EM Hellenic Front
ENU European National Union
EPEN National Political Union
EPP European People's Party
ERSP Estonian National Independence Party
EU European Union
EUMC European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia
F Freedomites
FA Freedomite Academy
FI Go Italy
FIDESz-MPS Alliance of Young Democrats–Hungarian Civic Movement
FN National Front (France)
FNb National Front (Belgian)
FNB New Front of Belgium
FNJ Youth National Front
FP Freedom Party
FPd Progress Party (Denmark)
FPÖ Austrian Freedom Party
FPS Freedom Party of Switzerland
FRP Progress Party (Norway)
FWO Fund for Scientific Research
HB People Unity
HDZ Croatian Democratic Movement
HF Hellenic Front
HOS Croatian Defence Force
HSP Croatian Party of Rights
HSP-1861 Croatian Party of Rights–1861
HZDS Movement for a Democratic Slovakia
ICP Immigration Control Platform
IKL Patriotic National Alliance
IRA Irish Republican Army
KE Greek Hellenism Party
KSCM Community Party of Bohemia and Moravia
LAOS Popular Orthodox Rally
LDPR Liberal Democratic Party of Russia
LN Northern League
LNNK Latvian National Independence Movement
LPF Lijst Pim Fortuyn
LPR League of Polish Families
MDF Hungarian Democratic Forum
MEP Member of European Parliament
MHP Nationalist Action Party
MIÉP Hungarian Justice and Life Party
MNR National Republican Movement
MS-FT Social Movement–Tricolor Flame
MSI Italian Social Movement
NBP National Bolshevik Party
ND New Democracy
NDP National Democratic Party
NF National Front (Britain)
NOP National Rebirth of Poland
NPD National Democratic Party of Germany
NS National Party (Czech Republic)
NSA National Union Attack
NWO New World Order
ODS Civic Democratic Party
ONP One Nation Party
PASOK Panhellenic Socialist Movement
PiS Law and Justice Party
PRM Greater Romania Party
PRO Constitutional Offensive Party
PSM Socialist Labor Party
PSNS Real Slovak National Party
PUNR Party of Romanian National Unity
RBF Republican League of Women
REP The Republicans
RMS Republicans of Miroslav Sládek
RNE Russian National Unity
SD Sweden Democrats
SF We Ourselves
SNP Scottish National Party
SNS Slovak National Party and Slovene National Party
SP Socialist Party
SPÖ Serbian Renewal Movement
SPR-RSC Association for the Republic–Republican Party of Czechoslovakia
SPS Socialist Party of Serbia
SRS Serbian Radical Party
SSP Scottish Socialist Party
SVP Swiss People’s Party
TB Fatherland and Freedom
TDI Technical Group for Non-Attached Members – Mixed Group
UCSB University of California, Santa Barbara
UDMR Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania
UEN Union for Europe of Nations
UKIP UK Independence Party
UNA-UNSO Ukrainian National Assembly–Ukrainian People’s Self-Defense
UPR Union for Real Politics
VB Flemish Block/Flemish Interest
VU People’s Union
VVD People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy
WASPs White Anglo-Saxon Protestants

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