The Populist/Radical/Extreme Right in Europe



… will be posted and linked into the outline below after class.

Course Outline/Readings

23. 04.

Introduction and central concepts

Mudde (2007, ch 1)

30. 04.

The Extreme Right before 1980

Blinkhorn (2000, pp. 8-88), Prowe (1994)

07. 05.

The supply side: Authoritarianism, the Economy, and the EU

Lange (2007), Rydgren (2005) and Vasilopoulou (2011)

21. 05.


FR: Hainsworth (2000) and Mayer (2013), BE: Jamin (2012)

28. 05.


IT: Ruzza and Fella (2009, ch.2), Bulli and Tronconi (2012), AT: Aichholzer et al. (2014) and Luther (2000)

11. 06.


Scandinavia: Demker (2012), DE: Arzheimer (2015) and Sommer (2008)

18. 06.

Netherlands, Great Britain

NL: Holsteyn and Irwin (2003), Bos and Brants (2014, pp. 703-705), GB: Ford and Goodwin (2010, 2014)

25. 06.

Greece, Switzerland

GR: Ellinas (2012, 2013), CH: Skenderovic (2012)

02. 07.

Ideology vs Protest

Brug (2003), Brug, Fennema and Tillie (2000)

09. 07.

The Role of Religion

Arzheimer and Carter (2009) and Zúquete (2008)

16. 07.


Rydgren (2008)

23. 07.

Extreme Right Voting in Context

Arzheimer (2009)

Some relevant peer-reviewed journals

  • Comparative European Politics
  • Comparative Political Studies
  • Comparative Politics
  • Electoral Studies
  • European Journal of Political Research
  • Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies
  • West European Politics

Articles from these journals should be available electronically on any computer connected to the university network (either on campus or via VPN).


  1. I expect you to come to class well prepared. If you don’t read the assigned texts, participation is pointless.
  2. Even with a medical certificate, you may miss a maximum of two classes.
  3. Assessment is based on your essay (6,000-7,000 words). Your essay title/topic must be chosen from the list
  4. Plagiarism is the most serious academic offence. It is both morally and legally a form of fraud and will not be tolerated. Students who cheat in this way will be awarded a mark of zero.
  5. Essays must be entirely students’ own work, and any passages from the work of others that are quoted directly, or paraphrased or summarised, must be acknowledged and accompanied by full references. Avoid internet sources as they are not normally peer-reviewed (it is of course absolutely ok to use the electronic version of an article from a peer-reviewed journal). If you absolutely have to use material from the internet, you must give the full URL and the date on which the website was accessed.
  6. Essays must be typed on a computer. They must include an introduction and a bibliography (list of references) that adheres to bibliographic standards. The American Political Science Association’s style manual is a useful but verbose guide ( The main points are summarised here:

Essay Titles

  • Is the Extreme Right after 1980 really completely different from the old, interwar right?
  • Why is there no successful Extreme Right Party in Spain or Portugal?
  • Why is the VB in Flanders so much more successful than the NF in Walloon?
  • Will the AfD be the first successful Extreme Right Party in Germany since the 1990s?
  • Was there ever a chance to stop the rise of the Austrian FPOE?
  • Does the First Past the Post system insulates the UK against European right-wing extremism?
  • How does the Swiss SVP fit into the Extreme Right party family?
  • How does UKIP fit into the Extreme Right party family?
  • Should the concept of an Extreme Right party family be abandoned, because the “family” is too heterogeneous?
  • Is populism a necessary condition for radical right-wing success?


Aichholzer, Julian et al. (2014). “How has Radical Right Support Transformed Established Political Conflicts? The Case of Austria”. In: West European Politics 37.1, pp. 113–137. doi: 10.1080/01402382.2013.814956.

Arzheimer, Kai (2009). “Contextual Factors and the Extreme Right Vote in Western Europe, 1980–2002”. In: American Journal of Political Science 53.2, pp. 259–275. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-_5907.2009.00369.x.

— (2015). “The AfD: Finally a Successful Right-Wing Populist Eurosceptic Party for Germany?” In: West European Politics 38, pp. 535–556. doi: 10.1080/01402382.2015.1004230.

Arzheimer, Kai and Elisabeth Carter (2009). “Christian Religiosity and Voting for West European Radical Right Parties”. In: West European Politics 32.5, pp. 985–1011. doi: 10.1080/01402380903065058.

Blinkhorn, Martin (2000). Fascism and the Right in Europe, 1919-1945. Harlow: Pearson.

Bos, Linda and Kees Brants (2014). “Populist Rhetoric in Politics and Media A Longitudinal Study of the Netherlands”. In: European Journal of Communication 29.6, pp. 703–719. doi: 10.1177/0267323114545709.

Brug, Wouter van der (2003). “How the LPF Fuelled Discontent. Empirical Tests of Explanations of LPF Support”. In: Acta Politica 38, pp. 89–106.

Brug, Wouter van der, Meindert Fennema and Jean Tillie (2000). “Anti-Immigrant Parties in Europe: Ideological or Protest Vote?” In: European Journal of Political Research 37.1, pp. 77–102.

Bulli, Giorgia and Filippo Tronconi (2012). “Regionalism, Right-Wing Extremism, Populism. The Elusive Nature of the Lega Nord”. In: Mapping the Extreme Right in Contemporary Europe. From Local to Transnational. Ed. by Andrea Mammone, Emmanuel Godin and Brian Jenkins. London et al.: Routledge, pp. 78–92.

Demker, Marie (2012). “Scandinavian Right-Wing Parties. Diversity More Than Convergence?” In: Mapping the Extreme Right in Contemporary Europe. From Local to Transnational. Ed. by Andrea Mammone, Emmanuel Godin and Brian Jenkins. London et al.: Routledge, pp. 239–253.

Ellinas, Antonis A. (2012). “LAOS and the Greek Extreme Right Since 1974”. In: Mapping the Extreme Right in Contemporary Europe. From Local to Transnational. Ed. by Andrea Mammone, Emmanuel Godin and Brian Jenkins. London et al.: Routledge, pp. 124–139.

— (2013). “The Rise of Golden Dawn. The New Face of the Far Right in Greece”. In: South European Society and Politics 18.4, pp. 543–565.

Ford, Robert and Matthew J. Goodwin (2010). “Angry White Men: Individual and Contextual Predictors of Support for the British National Party”. In: Political Studies 58.1, pp. 1–25. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-_9248.2009.00829.x.

— (2014). “Understanding UKIP. Identity, Social Change and the Left Behind”. In: The Political Quarterly 85.3, pp. 277–284. doi: 10.1111/1467-_923X.12099.

Hainsworth, Paul (2000). “The Front National: From Ascendancy to Fragmentation on the French Extreme Right”. In: The Politics of the Extreme Right. From the Margins to the Mainstream. Ed. by Paul Hainsworth. London, New York: Pinter, pp. 18–32.

Holsteyn, Joop J.M. van and Galen A. Irwin (2003). “Never a Dull Moment: Pim Fortuyn and the Dutch Parliamentary Election of 2002”. In: West European Politics 26, pp. 41–66.

Jamin, Jérôme (2012). “Extreme-Right Discourse in Belgium. A Comparative Regional Approach”. In: Mapping the Extreme Right in Contemporary Europe. From Local to Transnational. Ed. by Andrea Mammone, Emmanuel Godin and Brian Jenkins. London et al.: Routledge, pp. 62–77.

Lange, Sarah L. de (2007). “A New Winning Formula?: The Programmatic Appeal of the Radical Right”. In: Party Politics 13.4, pp. 411–435. doi: 10.1177/1354068807075943.

Luther, Kurt Richard (2000). “Austria: A Democracy under Threat from the Freedom Party?” In: Parliamentary Affairs 53, pp. 426–442.

Mayer, Nonna (2013). “From Jean-Marie to Marine Le Pen: Electoral Change on the Far Right”. In: Parliamentary Affairs 66.1, pp. 160–178. doi: 10.1093/pa/gss071.

Mudde, Cas (2007). Populist Radical Right Parties in Europe. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Prowe, Diethelm (1994). “”Classic” Fascism and the New Radical Right in Western Europe: Comparisons and Contrasts”. In: Contemporary European History 3, pp. 289–313.

Ruzza, Carlo and Stefano Fella (2009). Re-inventing the Italian Right. Territorial Politics, Populism and ‘Post-Fascism’. Abingdon, New York: Routledge.

Rydgren, Jens (2005). “Is Extreme Right-Wing Populism Contagious? Explaining the Emergence of a New Party Family”. In: European Journal of Political Research 44, pp. 413–437.

— (2008). “Immigration Sceptics, Xenophobes or Racists? Radical Right-Wing Voting in Six West European Countries”. In: European Journal of Political Research 47.6, pp. 737–765. doi: 10.1111/j.1475-_6765.2008. 00784.x.

Skenderovic, Damir (2012). “Challenging the Exceptionalist View. Favourable Conditions for Radical Right-Wing Populism in Switzerland”. In: Mapping the Extreme Right in Contemporary Europe. From Local to Transnational. Ed. by Andrea Mammone, Emmanuel Godin and Brian Jenkins. London et al.: Routledge, pp. 209–224.

Sommer, Bernd (2008). “Anti-capitalism in the name of ethno-nationalism: ideological shifts on the German extreme right”. In: Patterns of Prejudice 42.3, pp. 305–316. doi: 10.1080/00313220802204046. url:

Vasilopoulou, Sofia (2011). “European Ingegration and the Radical Right. Three Patterns of Opposition”. In: Government and Opposition 46.2, pp. 223–244.

Zúquete, José Pedro (2008). “The European Extreme-Right and Islam: New Directions?” In: Journal of Political Ideologies 13.3, pp. 321–344. doi: 10.1080/13569310802377019.

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