The Populist/Radical/Extreme Right in Europe (seminar, summer 2019)


Reader (requires JGU account)

Course outline and required readings

Introduction and central concepts

Mudde (2007 ch 1)

The Extreme Right before 1980

Blinkhorn (2000, 8–88), Prowe (1994)

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

Lange (2007; Vasilopoulou 2011), background: (Rydgren 2005)

France/BelgiumFR: Mayer (2013), BE: Jamin (2012), background: (Hainsworth 2000)
Italy/AustriaIT: Bulli and Tronconi (2012), AT: Aichholzer et al. (2014), background: Ruzza and Fella (2009 ch.2), (Luther 2000)
Scandinavia/GermanyScandinavia: Demker (2012), DE: Arzheimer (2015), background: (Sommer 2008)
Netherlands, Great BritainNL: Bos and Brants (2014), GB: Ford and Goodwin (2014), background: Holsteyn and Irwin (2003; Ford and Goodwin 2010)
Greece, SwitzerlandGR: Ellinas (2013), CH: Skenderovic (2012), background: (Ellinas 2012)
Ideology vs ProtestBrug (2003), Brug, Fennema, and Tillie (2000)
The Role of ReligionArzheimer and Carter (2009; Zúquete 2008)
ImmigrantsRydgren (2008)

PDFs for all texts should be available through the reader system. Most of the articles are also available electronically on any computer connected to the university network (either on campus or via VPN).

Background and introductory readings

The introductory chapter of Mudde’s 2007 book is a required reading, but I would like to urge you to go back to it over the course of this term at least a couple of times. It will help you to gain a better understanding.

The introduction to the Oxford Handbook of the Radical Right (Rydgren 2018) is an excellent starting point for getting a high-level overview of the field. The Handbook itself has extensive literature reviews for many themes relevant for the course and also some case studies (country chapters) that provide valuable background information for your essays.

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).

I also maintain an extensive bibliography on the Radical Right.


  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 (- words). Your essay title/topic must be chosen from the list below
  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:
  7. Essays are single-authored

Essay Titles

  • Is the Radical Populist Right after 1980 really completely different from the old, interwar right?
  • Why was there no successful Radical Rightwing Populist Party in Spain or Portugal, and does the recent success of Vox signal the end of this pattern?
  • Why was the VB in Flanders so much more successful than the NF in Walloon?
  • Is the AfD a Radical Rightwing Populist Party?
  • Was there ever a chance to stop the rise of the Austrian FPÖ?
  • How does UKIP fit into the Radical Rightwing Populist party family?
  • How does the SVP fit into the Radical Rightwing Populist party family?
  • Is populism a necessary condition for Radical Right-Wing success?
  • Has the FN really changed under Marine Le Pen? If yes, how?

Aichholzer, Julian, Sylvia Kritzinger, Markus Wagner, and Eva Zeglovits. 2014. “How Has Radical Right Support Transformed Established Political Conflicts? The Case of Austria.” West European Politics 37 (1): 113–37. doi:10.1080/01402382.2013.814956.

Arzheimer, Kai. 2015. “The Afd: Finally a Successful Right-Wing Populist Eurosceptic Party for Germany?” West European Politics 38: 535–56. doi:10.1080/01402382.2015.1004230.

Arzheimer, Kai, and Elisabeth Carter. 2009. “Christian Religiosity and Voting for West European Radical Right Parties.” West European Politics 32 (5): 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.” European Journal of Communication 29 (6): 703–19. doi:10.1177/0267323114545709.

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

Brug, Wouter van der, Meindert Fennema, and Jean Tillie. 2000. “Anti-Immigrant Parties in Europe: Ideological or Protest Vote?” European Journal of Political Research 37 (1): 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, edited by Andrea Mammone, Emmanuel Godin, and Brian Jenkins, 78–92. London; others: Routledge.

Demker, Marie. 2012. “Scandinavian Right-Wing Parties. Diversity More Than Convergence?” In Mapping the Extreme Right in Contemporary Europe. from Local to Transnational, edited by Andrea Mammone, Emmanuel Godin, and Brian Jenkins, 239–53. London; others: Routledge.

Ellinas, Antonis A. 2012. “LAOS and the Greek Extreme Right Since 1974.” In Mapping the Extreme Right in Contemporary Europe. from Local to Transnational, edited by Andrea Mammone, Emmanuel Godin, and Brian Jenkins, 124–39. London; others: Routledge.

———. 2013. “The Rise of Golden Dawn. the New Face of the Far Right in Greece.” South European Society and Politics 18 (4): 543–65.

Ford, Robert, and Matthew J. Goodwin. 2010. “Angry White Men: Individual and Contextual Predictors of Support for the British National Party.” Political Studies 58 (1): 1–25. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9248.2009.00829.x.

———. 2014. “Understanding Ukip. Identity, Social Change and the Left Behind.” The Political Quarterly 85 (3): 277–84. 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, edited by Paul Hainsworth, 18–32. London, New York: Pinter.

Holsteyn, Joop J.M. van, and Galen A. Irwin. 2003. “Never a Dull Moment: Pim Fortuyn and the Dutch Parliamentary Election of 2002.” West European Politics 26: 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, edited by Andrea Mammone, Emmanuel Godin, and Brian Jenkins, 62–77. London; others: Routledge.

Lange, Sarah L. de. 2007. “A New Winning Formula?: The Programmatic Appeal of the Radical Right.” Party Politics 13 (4): 411–35. doi:10.1177/1354068807075943.

Luther, Kurt Richard. 2000. “Austria: A Democracy Under Threat from the Freedom Party?” Parliamentary Affairs 53: 426–42.

Mayer, Nonna. 2013. “From Jean-Marie to Marine Le Pen: Electoral Change on the Far Right.” Parliamentary Affairs 66 (1): 160–78. 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.” Contemporary European History 3: 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.” European Journal of Political Research 44: 413–37.

———. 2008. “Immigration Sceptics, Xenophobes or Racists? Radical Right-Wing Voting in Six West European Countries.” European Journal of Political Research 47 (6): 737–65. doi:10.1111/j.1475-6765.2008.00784.x.

———. 2018. “The Radical Right: An Introduction.” In The Oxford Handbook of the Radical Right, edited by Jens Rydgren, 1–13. Oxford University Press.

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, edited by Andrea Mammone, Emmanuel Godin, and Brian Jenkins, 209–24. London; others: Routledge.

Sommer, Bernd. 2008. “Anti-Capitalism in the Name of Ethno-Nationalism: Ideological Shifts on the German Extreme Right.” Patterns of Prejudice 42 (3): 305–16. doi:10.1080/00313220802204046.

Vasilopoulou, Sofia. 2011. “European Ingegration and the Radical Right. Three Patterns of Opposition.” Government and Opposition 46 (2): 223–44.

Zúquete, José Pedro. 2008. “The European Extreme-Right and Islam. New Directions?” Journal of Political Ideologies 13 (3): 321–44. doi:10.1080/13569310802377019.