Far-Right Parties in Europe
- LAST REVIEWED: 04 May 2015
- LAST MODIFIED: 10 March 2015
- DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199756223-0165
- LAST REVIEWED: 04 May 2015
- LAST MODIFIED: 10 March 2015
- DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199756223-0165
The rise of far-right parties is one of the most interesting developments in modern European party systems. No other party family has managed to make such important electoral inroads across so many countries in such a short period of time. Since the 1980s far-right parties have managed to consolidate a sizable presence in most western European and in some central and eastern European countries. Although these parties display notable differences, and notwithstanding their contested definition, they tend to share an exclusivist and nationalist worldview that challenges the pluralistic nature of modern European societies and polities. Because of its historical legacy, the electoral ascendance of the Far Right has raised scholarly eyebrows and generated a voluminous literature seeking to explain the phenomenon. Combining a wide array of both qualitative and quantitative evidence and distinct methodological tools, this literature has sought to advance understanding of the factors affecting voter support for these parties. Analyses vary, depending on the emphasis they place on how voters and parties behave in various sociopolitical and institutional contexts.
Since the mid-1990s there have been hundreds of academic books, scholarly articles, and doctoral dissertations on the rise of the Far Right. Earlier work, such as von Beyme 1988, sought to delineate the postwar trajectory of far-right parties and to trace their historical links to interwar extremism. Subsequent work has systematically examined possible explanations for the rise of far-right parties. Owing to the geographical spread of the phenomenon, it was naturally viewed by scholars such as Betz 1994 as a symptom of postindustrial development. Even among postindustrial western European democracies, though, far-right parties have had varied electoral performance. This variation has encouraged the consideration of the domestic political and institutional contexts affecting the success and failure of far-right parties. Kitschelt with McGann 1995 analyzes how the transformation of the competitive space in postindustrial democracies provided opportunities for the rise of these parties, attributing their relative success to a “winning” combination of ethnocentric with neoliberal appeals—the latter receiving considerable criticism in later works on the Far Right. The domestic political factors influencing the rise of far-right parties are thoroughly analyzed in monographs and edited volumes such as Hainsworth 2008, Ignazi 2003, and Merkl and Weinberg 2003, which look at the historical trajectory, ideological positioning, organizational infrastructure, and voter profile of various country cases. Domestic factors are also analyzed in the thematically structured monographs Norris 2005 and Mudde 2007, which explore, among others, variation in programmatic positioning, electoral institutions, organizational capacity, and leadership charisma.
Betz, H. Radical Right-Wing Populism in Western Europe. Basingstoke, UK: Macmillan, 1994.
A comprehensive overview of the rise of radical-right-wing populism in western Europe and a thematically structured account of the phenomenon, with an emphasis on broad socioeconomic factors.
Beyme, K. von. “Right-Wing Extremism in Post-War Europe.” West European Politics 11.2 (1988): 1–18.
One of the first efforts to trace the trajectory of the Far Right in postwar Europe, delineating “three waves of development” of right-wing extremism.
Hainsworth, P. The Extreme Right in Western Europe. London: Routledge, 2008.
Offers a concise overview of the concept, varying trajectories, policies, electorate, and impact of extreme-right parties. Can be used for introductory undergraduate courses on European politics and political extremism.
Ignazi, P. Extreme Right Parties in Western Europe. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003.
Comprehensive historical overview of the evolution of extreme-right parties in western Europe. Links phenomenon with value change in postindustrial societies.
Kitschelt, H., with A. McGann. The Radical Right in Western Europe: A Comparative Analysis. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1995.
A systematic analysis of demand- and supply-side factors affecting support for radical-right parties in western Europe. Argues that successful radical-right parties put forth a winning formula combining ethnocentrism and neoliberalism.
Merkl, P. H., and L. Weinberg, eds. Right-Wing Extremism in the Twenty-First Century. London: Cass, 2003.
An overview of the main theories, trends, and developments in right-wing extremism, combining theoretical overviews and cross-country and country-specific analyses.
Mudde, C. The Populist Radical Right in Europe. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2007.
The most comprehensive overview of the literature on populist radical-right parties in western and eastern Europe. Can be used as a textbook for advanced undergraduate courses on the radical Right.
Norris, P. Radical Right: Voters and Parties in the Electoral Market. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2005.
Thoroughly reviews and statistically examines various explanations for the varied performance of radical-right parties in Europe and elsewhere. Can be used as a textbook for advanced undergraduate courses on the radical Right.
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content on this page. Please subscribe or login.
How to Subscribe
Oxford Bibliographies Online is available by subscription and perpetual access to institutions. For more information or to contact an Oxford Sales Representative click here.
Purchase an Ebook Version of This Article
Ebooks of the Oxford Bibliographies Online subject articles are available in North America via a number of retailers including Amazon, vitalsource, and more. Simply search on their sites for Oxford Bibliographies Online Research Guides and your desired subject article.
If you would like to purchase an eBook article and live outside North America please email firstname.lastname@example.org to express your interest.
- Advanced Democracies, Electoral System Reform in
- Advanced Democracies, Public Opinion and Public Policy in
- Advertising and Election Campaigns in the United States
- Africa, Comparative Politics of
- American Indian Politics
- Arab-Israel Conflict, The
- Arendt, Hannah
- Aristotle's Political Thought
- Australia and New Zealand, Comparative Politics of
- Authoritarianism in Russia
- Bicameralism in Stable Democracies
- Biopolitics and State Regulation of Human Life
- Brazilian Political Development
- Business-State Relations in Europe
- Canadian Foreign Policy
- Candidate Emergence and Recruitment
- Channels of Electoral Representation in Advanced Industria...
- China's One-Child Policy
- China-Taiwan Relations
- Chinese Communist Party
- Chinese Nationalism
- Civil Society in South Asia
- Civil War in Sub-Saharan Africa
- Civil-Military Relations in Asia
- Civil-Military Relations in Latin America
- Class in American Politics
- Comparative Capitalism Theory
- Comparative Industrial Relations in Europe
- Comparative Politics of Angola, Mozambique, and Guinea-Bis...
- Comparative Politics of Chile and Uruguay
- Comparative Politics of Federalism
- Comparative Politics of the Middle East and North Africa
- Congress, Defense, and Foreign Policy
- Congressional Reassertion of Authority
- Conservative Litigation Strategies and Groups in US Judici...
- Corruption in China
- Cosmopolitan Political Thought
- Crisis of European Integration in Historical Perspective, ...
- Critical Theory and the Frankfurt School
- Cuban Political Development
- Cycles of Protest
- Democracy and Authoritarianism in Sub-Saharan Africa
- Democracy and Dictatorship in Central Asia
- Democracy in Latin America
- Democratic Citizenship
- Democratic Peace Theory
- Democratic Theory
- Democratization in Africa
- Democratization in Central America
- Democratization in Mexico
- Development of Survey Research
- Direct Democracy in the United States
- East Africa, Politics of
- Economic Voting
- Election Forecasting
- Election Laws in Democracies
- Electoral and Party System Development in Sub-Saharan Afri...
- Electoral Change in Latin America
- Emotion and Racial Attitudes in Contemporary American Poli...
- Environmental Governance
- Environmental Politics among Advanced Industrial Democraci...
- Ethnic Diasporas and US Foreign Policy
- Ethnic Politics
- Eurasia, Comparative Politics of
- European Social Democracy
- European Union, Politics of the
- Failed and Weak States in Theory and Practice
- Far-Right Parties in Europe
- Federalism in the United States
- Field Experiments
- Filibuster, The
- Gender and Electoral Politics in the United States
- Gender and International Relations
- Gender, Behavior, and Representation
- Global Inequality
- Globalization and the Welfare State
- Globalization, Health Crises, and Health Care
- Governance in Africa
- Governmental Responses to Political Corruption
- Gridlock and Divided Government in the U.S.
- Historiography of Twentieth-Century American Conservatism,...
- Hobbes’s Political Thought
- Hume’s Political Thought
- Hybrid Regimes
- Identity and Political Behavior
- Immigrant Incorporation in Canada
- Immigrant Incorporation in Western Europe
- Immigration and International Relations
- Impact of Campaign Contributions on Congressional Behavior...
- Implicit Attitudes in Public Opinion
- Income Dynamics and Politics in North America and Europe
- Income Inequality and Advanced Democracies
- Income Inequality in the United States, The Politics of
- Indian Democracy
- Indigenous Rights and Governance in Canada, Australia, and...
- Informal Practices of Accountability in Urban Africa
- Institutional Change in Advanced Democracies
- Intellectual Property in International Relations
- Interest Groups and Inequality in the United States
- Interest Groups in American Politics
- International Conflict Management
- International Criminal Justice
- International Law
- International NGOs
- International Political Economy of Illegal Drugs
- Internet and Politics, The
- Iran, Political Development of
- Israeli Politics
- Judicial Supremacy and National Judicial Review
- Kant's Political Thought
- Labor Politics in East Asia
- Land Reform in Latin America
- Latin America, Democratic Transitions in
- Latin America, Environmental Policy and Politics in
- Latin America, Guerrilla Insurgencies in
- Latin America, Social Movements in
- Legal Mobilization
- LGBT Politics in the United States
- Liberal Pluralism
- Local Governments in the United States
- Machiavelli’s Political Thought
- Marx's Political Thought
- Mechanisms of Representation
- Media Effects in Politics
- Media Politics in South Asia
- Minority Political Engagement and Representation in the Un...
- Modern Dynastic Rule
- Modern Elections and Voting Behavior in Europe
- National Interbranch Politics in the United States
- NATO, Politics of
- Neoclassical Realism
- New Institutionalism Revisited, The
- North America, Comparative Politics of
- Oil, Politics of
- Origins and Impact of Proportional Representation, The
- Outcomes of Social Movements and Protest Activities
- Partisan and Nonpartisan Theories of Organization in the U...
- Partisan Polarization in the US Congress
- Partisan Polarization in the US Electorate
- Party Networks
- Peace Operations
- Personality and Politics
- Plato's Political Thought
- Policy Responsiveness to Public Opinion
- Political Economy of Financial Regulation in Advanced Ind...
- Political Economy of Taxation, The
- Political Geography in American Politics
- Political Obligation
- Political Parties and Electoral Politics of Japan
- Political Thought, Hegel's
- Political Thought of the American Founders, The
- Politics and Policy in Contemporary Argentina
- Politics of Anti-Americanism
- Politics of Disaster Prevention and Management
- Politics of Financial Crises
- Politics of Foreign Direct Investment in South Asia
- Politics of Higher Education in the U.S.
- Politics of Internal Conquest in the United States and Can...
- Politics of Japan
- Politics of Natural Disasters, The
- Politics of North Korea
- Politics of Science and Technology
- Politics of South Africa
- Politics of Southern Africa
- Postcolonialism and International Relations
- Post-Communist Democratization
- Preferential Trade Agreements, Politics of
- Presidential Persuasion and Public Opinion
- Presidential Primaries and Caucuses
- Public Opinion in Advanced Industrial Democracies
- Public Opinion in New Democracies and Developing Nations
- Qualitative Methods, The Renewal of
- Race in American Political Thought
- Regime Transitions and Variation in Post-Communist Europe
- Regional Integration in Latin America
- Regional Security
- Regulating Food Production
- Religion in American Political Thought
- Religion in Contemporary Political Thought
- Religion, Politics, and Civic Engagement in the United Sta...
- Rousseau's Political Thought
- Rule of Law
- Russia and the West
- Science and Democracy
- Social Policy and Immigrant Integration
- South Korea, Politics of
- Spectacle, The
- State Building in Sub-Saharan Africa
- State Formation
- State, The Nature of the
- Supreme Court of the United States, The
- Systemic Theories of International Politics
- Taiwan, Politics of
- Tea Party, The
- The New Right in American Political Thought
- Transitional Justice
- Turkey, Political Development of
- US Military Bases Abroad
- US Presidency, The
- Voter Turnout
- Welfare State Development
- Welfare State Development in Latin America
- Welfare State Development in Western Europe
- West Africa, Politics of
- Worker Politics in China
- Youth and Generational Differences in US Politics