Like many other concepts in political science, the notion of radicalism harks back to the political conflicts of the late 18th and 19th century. Even then, its content was depended on the political context and far from well defined. Consequentially, being “radical” has meant different things to different people in different times and countries. Moreover, radicalism is closely related, if not identical to a number of (equally vague) concepts such as extremism, fundamentalism, and populism. As of today, there is no universally accepted definition of radicalism, and, by implication, radical attitudes.
Over the last 15 years or so, analyses of the Extreme Right’s electorate(s) have become a minor industry within the larger context of (comparative) Political Sociology. By necessity, this chapter aims at summarising the main findings from this research program, but cannot strive for a comprehensive presentation of all that has been achieved during these […]