The Populist Radical Right in Western Europe: Recent Developments and Reasons for its Success I (joint with Italian Politics)

Town Hall - Mandela Room (Reception Room B)
Time Slot: 
Monday 30th March 11:30 - 13:00
Panel Chair: 
  • Dr Arianna Giovannini (De Montfort University)
Panel Discussant: 
  • Dr Cas Mudde (University of Georgia)
Panel Members: 
  • Dr Umut Korkut (Glasgow Caledonian University)
  • Dr Zsolt Boda (Centre for Social Sciences of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences)
  • Dr Mari K. Niemi (University of Turku)
  • Mr Matti Välimäki (University of Turku)
  • Dr Lena Karamanidou (Glasgow Caledonian University)
  • Dr Sanja Badanjak (University of Edinburgh)

On 31 January 2000, 14 of the 15 European Union member states issued an ultimatum to the remaining member, Austria. If the centre-right Austrian People’s Party pressed ahead with plans to form a government containing the populist radical right Austrian Freedom Party bilateral sanctions would be imposed. The Austrian case and the international controversy it aroused serves to remind us of how much has changed in the past fifteen years as regards populist radical right parties and their legitimation. Since the turn of the new century, populists have not only repeatedly been successful in subsequent elections in many countries in Western Europe, but have also served in – or provided consistent parliamentary support as part of formal pacts for - governments in Austria, Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Norway, Denmark, and Greece. While many European countries have not yet had populist parties in or even close to power (although only a few now lack electorally successful ones), populists are certainly not on the periphery of power in all anymore. These panels will cover the electoral performance of populist radical right parties in Western Europe, discuss common features of their ideology (particularly their policies and rhetoric on immigration) and analyse the process whereby an increasing number of them are moving towards a position of legitimacy and influence that was unimaginable before the turn of the century.