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What explains the cross-national variation in the radical right's electoral success over the last several decades? Challenging existing structural and institutional accounts, this book analyzes the dynamics of party building and explores the attitudes, skills, and experiences of radical right activists in eleven different countries. Based on extensive field research and an original data set of radical right candidates for office, David Art links the quality of radical right activists to broader patterns of success and failure. He demonstrates how a combination of historical legacies and incentive structures produced activists who helped party building in some cases, and doomed it in others. In an age of rising electoral volatility and the fading of traditional political cleavages, Inside the Radical Right makes a strong case for the importance of party leaders and activists as masters of their own fate.Read more
- Based on 140 interviews with radical right activists and field work in 10 different countries
- Original data-set of radical right candidates for office
- Offers new theory of why radical right parties succeed and fail
Reviews & endorsements
“In Inside the Radical Right, David Art takes up the pressing issue of the radical right in Europe. Rather than focusing primarily on issues like unemployment, globalization, and immigration, Art provocatively argues that the key to understanding these parties’ differing fates are factors internal to the parties themselves, and the ways in which other actors in the political system respond to them. Art’s book shows that rising radicalism is not an inevitable outcome of changing economic, social, or political contexts, but is in fact critically shaped by the ways in which parties and other political actors in a political system respond to the challenges they face. Scholars of European politics, the radical right, and social movements more generally will find this book of great value.”
Sheri Berman, Barnard CollegeSee more reviews
“David Art’s book constitutes a groundbreaking comparative study of the radical right. It will make an immediate contribution to a vibrant field that, until now, has not adequately explained why some far right movements succeed while others fail. Art’s account, which emphasizes both historical legacies and contemporary activists, is well-researched, convincingly argued, and forcefully presented. Inside the Radical Right sets a new standard for research in this area.”
Marc Morjé Howard, Georgetown University
“Activists and the party organizations they create matter for the electoral success of radical right parties. Art develops his thesis with great skill and considerable comparative empirical scope and refinement. His provocative thesis will stir controversy, however, as to the extent to which it displaces or complements existing explanations of radical right party fortunes.”
Herbert Kitschelt, Duke University
“David Art has pulled off an important theoretical and methodological achievement. In his wide-ranging twelve-country study of Europe’s radical right that is based on impressive in-depth field research, he crafts a new insight: the rise of a country’s radical right cannot be explained merely with reference to mass sentiments or to electoral institutions alone. Instead he pinpoints the crucial importance of the organization and internal distribution of party activists. The result is a superb contribution that both convincingly rethinks under what conditions the radical right succeeds in Europe and more broadly offers insights for the comparative literature on political parties and the stability of democratic politics more generally.”
Daniel Ziblatt, Harvard University
"… a useful reminder of the tremendous diversity in how western European societies face modern political challenges."
“Art’s book challenges existing theories and offers a fresh angle … He makes a strong case, based on the compelling evidence of his 140 personal interviews with party activists, for the importance of understanding the dynamic interplay of varied actors within parties.”
Michelle Hale Williams, Review of Politics
"In this book, David Art takes on the challenge of explaining the development of radical right parties in eleven countries in Western Europe … this is a well-written book that goes far in examining an important aspect of political party development through a set of parties that once were thought to be only a "flash in the pan" but have persisted in a way that has often defied the expectations of political analysts across Europe. This book adds another piece to the puzzle of understanding what is clearly a complicated set of processes, existing both in the national context and in response to global challenges that influence voters in their search for a party that will address their interests."
Terri E. Givens, Culture and Society
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- Date Published: February 2011
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9780521720328
- length: 290 pages
- dimensions: 229 x 152 x 20 mm
- weight: 0.43kg
- contains: 5 b/w illus. 19 tables
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
2. Activists and party development
3. Parties of poor souls
4. Nationalist subcultures
5. Party transformation and flash parties
6. Reforming the old right?
Appendix A. Percentage of the vote for radical right parties in national parliamentary elections
Appendix B. Coding procedure for radical right party lists
Appendix C. ISCO codes for radical right candidates for office.
Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses
- 20th Century Central Europe
- Comparative Criminology
- Immigration, Citizenship and National Identity
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