Radical Right-wing Populism in Western Europe: A Comparative Study

Project leader

Funding source

Swedish Research Council - Vetenskapsrådet (VR)

Project Details

Start date: 01/01/2006
End date: 31/12/2009
Funding: 3080000 SEK


This project will conduct a comparative study of radical right-wing populism (RRP) in Western Europe. The aim is to explain why such parties have succeeded in some countries, while failing in others. There will be a special focus on four aspects. First, it will focus on the relationship between class politics and the rise of RRP parties. Earlier research suggests that realignment processes, in which the socioeconomic cleavage dimension decrease in salience, facilitate the rise of successful RRP parties. A related question is why working class voters are strongly overrepresented among the RRP party voters, and why the left has largely failed to retain the support of the working class voters in some countries but not in others. Second, it aims to explain the attraction to voters of various anti-immigrant messages advanced by the RRP parties, and why this attraction differs from country to country, and over time. Third, as the RRP parties have benefited from growing political discontent among the voters, this project will study how these processes differ across countries. Fourth, it will study the role of organizational factors in the electoral success of RRP parties. One part of the project will consist of quantitative analysis, including most of the countries in Western Europe. Another part will consist of qualitative and historical analyses, including a strategic selection of three “positive cases” (Denmark, France, Italy) and three “negative cases" (Spain, Sweden, the UK).

Last updated on 2017-31-03 at 12:58