- Populist parties of the Right
- Working paper
- Number of pages
- Amsterdamse school voor sociaal wetensch
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
Many people consider the contemporary extreme right as if it were political pornography: it is difficult to define but you immediately recognize it when you see it and then it should be prohibited. Yet, the political scientist cannot accept such simplistic view. He has the painful task of identifying extreme right parties according to some pre-established and well argued criteria, if only to do justice to those who are falsely accused of being extreme right. Legal measures against extreme-right militants are sometimes quite draconic (see Fennema 2000). To be labelled extreme right may jeopardize not only the political position of a person but also his professional career. For a party the label of extreme right may threaten its very existence. Under such circumstances it is necessary to have a precise definition of the extreme right. In this chapter our purpose is to discuss whether the members new political family of the radical right should be considered as extreme-right, as racist or as populist parties. These aspects of the new radical right may be more or less dominant in each of the parties under consideration. After that we will discuss the potential of these parties in the 21st century. We conclude that populist parties of the right have a future in the European Union because of some fundamental changes in European society.
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