Cross-national Ideology in Local Elections: The case of Azione Sociale and the British National Party

Timothy Peace, Andrea Mammone

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)


In this chapter, parties of the British and Italian extreme right are analysed in the context of the 2006 local elections. We focus our analysis on Nick Griffin’s British National Party (BNP) and Alessandra Mussolini’s Azione Sociale (AS) and the content of their party manifestos. It has been noted that at a local level, extreme right parties are freer to express their true ideas and idealised notion of society rather than at national level. Moreover, the deep entrenchment of an extremist party at a sub-national level may even allow it to put into practice its overall philosophy, promote community debates on specific themes (immigration, public security), and even exert pressure from ‘below’ on related national policies. The chapter demonstrates that despite several ideological shifts and a pragmatic, or opportunist, approach towards political issues, there remains a common ideological core of these parties rooted in their past. There is, in fact, historical continuity between these parties and their fascist and neo-fascist ancestors. By analysing them at a local level we assert that such parties have only superficially moderated their discourse.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMapping the Extreme Right in Contemporary Europe
Subtitle of host publicationFrom local to transnational
EditorsAndrea Mammone, Emmanuel Godin, Brian Jenkins
PublisherLondon & NY: Routledge
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)978-0-203-12192-4
ISBN (Print)978-0415502658, 978-0-415-50264-1
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • extreme right
  • fascism

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