Mainstream parties, the populist radical right, and the (alleged) lack of a restrictive and assimilationist alternative

Pontus Odmalm, Eve Hepburn

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

Abstract

Are populist radical right (PRR) parties the only alternatives for voters seeking restrictive and assimilationist outcomes? Or is a mainstream choice available? Popular opinion and social media commentaries often criticise mainstream parties for facing in the same liberal and multicultural direction. The parties and elections literature equally suggests a convergence of policy positions and the disappearance of any significant differences between parties. This edited volume is an attempt to challenge such perceptions and conclusions. By systemically coding manifestos for seventeen mainstream and six PRR parties in Western Europe, the book explores positional differences between mainstream and niche contender over three key elections (2002 -2015). The findings indicate more choice than initially expected but these restrictive and assimilationist options are usually in close proximity to each other and typically less intense than those of the PRR. This can help explain the continuous growth of the PRR despite the presence of a mainstream alternative. Yet party system dynamics also matter. Contributing authors thus investigate a number of arguments in the precarious relationship between mainstream parties, the electorate, and the PRR as well as between different mainstream parties.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe European Mainstream and the Populist Radical Right
EditorsPontus Odmalm, Eve Hepburn
Place of PublicationAbingdon; New York
PublisherRoutledge
Chapter1
Pages1-27
Number of pages27
ISBN (Electronic)9781315199757
ISBN (Print)9781857438314
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 26 Apr 2017

Publication series

NameEuropa Regional Perspectives
PublisherRoutledge

Keywords

  • mainstream parties
  • radical right-wing parties
  • populist radical right
  • immigration
  • integration
  • Elections

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  • Concluding Remarks

    Odmalm, P., 10 Apr 2017, The European Mainstream and the Populist Radical Right. Odmalm, P. & Hepburn, E. (eds.). Abingdon: Routledge, p. 153-157 4 p. (Europa Regional Perspectives).

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