Introduction: comparing and reconceptualising the (populist) radical right

  • Pontus OdmalmEmail author
  • Jens Rydgren


This symposium probes contemporary classifications of the “far-right”, “populist radical right” and “radical right” variety. It also considers whether there is a need to look beyond socio-economic factors to explain the upward trajectory such parties experienced in recent years. The symposium thus connects to ongoing debates regarding the nature of this party family (or families) and to previous accounts of their successes across Western Europe.


Euroscepticism Extreme right Extreme right-wing populist Immigration Nationalism Populist radical right Radical right 


  1. Adams, J., M. Clark, L. Ezrow, and G. Glasgow. 2006. Are niche parties fundamentally different from mainstream parties? The causes and the electoral consequences of Western European parties’ policy shifts, 1976–1998. American Journal of Political Science 50(3): 513–529.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Akkerman, T., S. De Lange, and M. Rooduijn. 2016. Radical right-wing populist parties in Western Europe: Into the mainstream?. Abingdon: Routledge.Google Scholar
  3. Camia, V., and D. Caramani. 2012. Family meetings: Ideological convergence within party families across Europe, 1945–2009. Comparative European Politics 10(1): 48–85.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Canovan, M. 1999. Trust the people! Populism and the two faces of democracy. Political Studies 47(1): 2–16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. De Lange, S. 2012. New alliances: Why mainstream parties govern with radical right-wing populist parties. Political Studies 60(4): 899–918.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Ennser, L. 2012. The homogeneity of West European party families: the radical right in comparative perspective. Party Politics 18(2): 151–171.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Evans, G., and J. Tilley. 2012. The Depoliticization of inequality and redistribution: Explaining the decline of class voting. The Journal of Politics 74(4): 963–976.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Golder, M. 2003. Explaining variation in the success of extreme right parties in Western Europe. Comparative Political Studies 36(4): 432–466.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Ignazi, P. 2003. Extreme right parties in Western Europe. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Joppke, C., and E. Morawska. 2003. Toward assimilation and citizenship: Immigrants in liberal nation-states. Basingstoke: Palgrave.Google Scholar
  11. Kriesi, H., E. Grande, M. Dolezal, S. Bornschier, and T. Frey. 2006. Globalisation and the transformation of the national political space: Six European countries compared. European Journal of Political Research 45(6): 921–956.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Lucassen, G., and M. Lubbers. 2012. Who fears what? Explaining far-right-wing preference in Europe by distinguishing perceived cultural and economic ethnic threat. Comparative Political Studies 45(5): 547–574.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Mair, P. 1989. Continuity, change and the vulnerability of party. West European Politics 12(4): 169–187.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Meguid, B. 2005. Competition between unequals: The role of mainstream party strategy in niche party success. American Political Science Review 99(3): 347–359.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Minkenberg, M. 2013. From pariah to policy-maker? The radical right in Europe, West and East: between margin and mainstream. Journal of Contemporary European Studies 21(1): 5–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Mudde, C. 2004. The populist zeitgeist. Government and Opposition 39(4): 542–563.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Norris, P. 2005. Radical right: Voters and parties in the electoral market. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Rydgren, J. 2005. Is extreme right-wing populism contagious? Explaining the emergence of a new party family. European Journal of Political Research 44(3): 413–437.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Rydgren, J. 2007. The sociology of the radical right. Annual Review of Sociology 33: 241–262.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Taggart, P. 2002. Populism and the pathology of representative politics. In Democracies and the populist challenge, ed. Y. Mény and Y. Surel, 62–80. Basingstoke: Palgrave.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Van der Brug, W., and J. van Spanje. 2009. Immigration, Europe and the ‘new’ cultural dimension. European Journal of Political Research 48(3): 309–434.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Wagner, M. 2011. Defining and measuring niche parties. Party Politics 18(6): 845–864.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Wagner, M., and T.M. Meyer. 2017. The radical right as niche parties? The ideological landscape of party systems in Western Europe, 1980–2014. Political Studies 65(1): 84–107.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Zaslove, A. 2009. The populist radical right: Ideology; party families and core principles. Political Studies Review 7(3): 309–318.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© European Consortium for Political Research 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Politics and IRUniversity of EdinburghEdinburghUK
  2. 2.Department of SociologyStockholm UniversityStockholmSweden

Personalised recommendations