Exclusion, Community, and a Populist Political Economy: The Radical Right as an Anti-Globalization Movement
- 423 Downloads
This article examines the anti-globalization message of three radical right populist parties: the Austrian Freedom Party, the French National Front, and the Italian Lega Nord. Anti-globalization movements have received much attention as of late from social scientists and journalists alike. However, one anti-globalization force that has not received adequate scholarly attention is the radical right. Since the 1990s, radical right parties have emerged as some of the strongest opponents of neo-liberalism, European integration, and immigration. Radical right parties campaign against the elite nature of globalization, arguing that financial and political elites, American hegemony, and the growing influence of the European Union destroy the natural fabric of civil society. The radical right also associates European integration with the forces of globalization and with a loss of national sovereignty. And finally, adopting La Nouvelle Droite's notion of the ‘right to difference’, radical right populist parties associate globalization with multiculturalism and with overly liberal immigration policies. The article then examines both survey data on European sentiments towards neo-liberalism, European integration, and immigration and public opinion polls that highlight the reason why voters support radical right parties. I argue that if we closely scrutinize the reasons why voters support radical right parties, keeping in mind how these same parties frame the issue of globalization, it becomes clear how and why the political message of radical right parties resonates with a small but significant portion of the electorate who demonstrate apprehension towards economic globalization, European integration, and immigration.
Keywordsradical right populism anti-globalization Euro-skepticism immigration xenophobia European integration
I would like to thank the three anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments and suggestions. I would also like to thank Phil Triadafilopoulos for his comments on earlier drafts.
- Art, D. (forthcoming) ‘The organizational origins of the contemporary radical right: the case of Belgium’, Comparative Politics.Google Scholar
- Austrian Freedom Party. Program: Kapitel X: Faire Marktwirtschaft. http://www.fpoe.at.
- Austrian Freedom Party. Program: Kapitel III: Österreich zuerst!. http://www.fpoe.at.
- Austrian Freedom Party (2007) ‘Strache: EU-Verfassung: Sozialpolitische Eiseskälte und Globalisierungsdiktatur’, 6 July. http://www.fpoe.at.
- Betz, H.-G. (2002b) ‘Rechtspopulismus in WestEuropa: Aktuelle Entwicklungen und politische Bedeutung’, Õsterreichische Zeitschrift Fűr Politikwissenschaft 31 (3): 251–304.Google Scholar
- Betz, H.-G. (2002c) ‘Xenophobia, Identity Politics and Exclusionary Populism in Western Europe’, in L. Panitch (ed.) Socialist Register, London: Merlin Press.Google Scholar
- Betz, H.-G. (2004) ‘Exclusionary populism in Western Europe in the 1990s and beyond: a threat to democracy and civil rights?’, United Nations Research Institute for Social Development, Identities, Conflict and Cohesion Program Paper Number 9.Google Scholar
- Biorcio, R. (1997) La Padania Promessa, Milan: Il Saggiatore.Google Scholar
- Corriere della Sera (2002) ‘Bossi: mobiliterò i popoli contro l' Europa stalinista’, 01 March.Google Scholar
- Davies, P. (1999) The National Front in France: ideology, discourse, power, New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Flash Eurobarometer 151b (2007) ‘Globalization’, EOS Gallup Europe.Google Scholar
- French National Front. Program. http://www.frontnational.com.
- La Padania (2000a) ‘Prima gli oriundi veneti’, 1 August 2000.Google Scholar
- La Padania (2000b) ‘Bossi: vogliamo seguire il modello cristiano’, 30 March.Google Scholar
- La Padania (2000c) ‘Trincea d’Europa, un’associazione in difesa dei popoli’, 16 March.Google Scholar
- La Repubblica (2003) ‘Bossi invoca dazi contro la Cina’, 17 August.Google Scholar
- La Repubblica (2005) ‘Lega, da Pontida assalto all’Europa’, 19 June.Google Scholar
- Le Monde (2005) ‘Le traditionnel defile du FN placé sous le signe du rejet la Constitution européenne’, 01 May.Google Scholar
- Lega Nord (1994) ‘Antitrust per abbattere i monopoli’, December.Google Scholar
- Luverà, B. (1999) I Confini dell’Odio: il nazionalismo etnico e la nuova destra europea, Rome: Editori Riuniti.Google Scholar
- Mayer, N. (1999) Ces Français Qui Votent FN, Paris: Flammarion.Google Scholar
- Mény, Y. and Surel, Y. (2000) Par le people, pour le people: le populisme et les démocraties, Paris: Fayard.Google Scholar
- Mussa, G., Corti, C. and Ronchi, R. (1998) ‘Padania, Identità e Società Multirazziale’, December.Google Scholar
- Padania: Lega Nord (2000) ‘Un’Europa a misura di popoli’, April.Google Scholar
- Riedlsperger, M. (1998) ‘The Freedom Party of Austria: From Protest to Radical Right Populism’, in H.-G. Betz and S. Immerfall (eds.) The New Politics of the Right, New York: St. Martin's Press.Google Scholar
- Rydgren, J. (2005b) The Populist Challenge: Political Protest and Ethno-nationalist Mobilization in France, New York: Bergham Books.Google Scholar
- Simmons, H. (1996) The French National Front; The Extremist Challenge to Democracy, Boulder, CO: Westview Press.Google Scholar
- Standard Eurobarometer 67 (2007) Brussels, Belgium, June, 2007.Google Scholar
- Svåsand, L. (1998) ‘Scandinavian Right-Wing Radicalism’, in H.-G. Betz and S. Immerfall (eds.) The New Politics of the Right, New York: St. Martin's Press.Google Scholar
- Thalmhammer, E., Zucha, V., Enzenhofer, E., Salfinger, B. and Ogris, G. (2001) Attitudes Towards Minority Groups in the European Union, Vienna: SORA.Google Scholar