Right-wing populism

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Right-wing populism is a form of populism in the area of ​​the political right . A classic model for a populist movement from the right is poujadism in France in the 1950s. New forms of right-wing populist movements and protest parties have emerged in several European countries since the late 1970s . In Eastern Europe, established political parties have developed populist traits as a strategy to secure power.

Right-wing populist parties combine pointed positions from the right-wing political spectrum with a commitment to democracy and, in a populist manner, turn against immigrants (especially from cultures that are claimed to be “foreign”), the European Union and its current structure, and the ruling parties . In addition, they demand, among other things, a performance-oriented social order , a commitment to the “ Christian West ” and the preservation of national cultures and identities, often combined with Islamophobia and the demand for a “ law-and-order policy” against as harmful or harmful to one's own nation People and organizations perceived as threatening and existing structures in the state, administration and political decision-making processes that are classified as too liberal and inflexible.

Right-wing populists see themselves as the mouthpiece of a "silent majority" whose interests other parties would ignore and who are disadvantaged in relation to migrants or ethnic minorities. Right-wing populism is thus directed in its self-image against social minorities and the political class , which it regards as corrupt, power-obsessed and not close to the people. The "appeal to the people" is intended to suggest that there is a genuine will of the people, which only needs to be brought to light in its latent truth content.

Unlike the neofaschistisch and revisionistisch minded right parties after 1945 the right Populismus dispense with a through Rassenlehre substantiated, ethnically embossed world image; Instead of classical racism , arguments of cultural racism or ethnopluralism appear . Right-wing populism does not reject the democratic system either, but tends to or implicitly and covertly opposes individual elements such as pluralism , protection of minorities or freedom of religion . Right-wing populist parties and organizations usually act out of the opposition and formulate high-profile and striking maximum demands.

Sections of political science see right-wing populism as a renewal movement of the extreme right that has responded to the social, political and economic change in modern European states since the 1970s . From their point of view, right-wing populist parties address the population's fears of modernization and upheavals such as globalization and answer them with clear, one-sided slogans that blame the political class and minorities for grievances.

The concept of right-wing populism is difficult to grasp because its representatives often differ greatly in terms of their programs and the boundaries to the traditional extreme spectrum and conservatism are fluid. The use of the word in the media and in public is to be distinguished from the social science term, where it is usually used pejoratively and has a negative connotation. On top of that, the expression in common parlance is mostly fuzzy and is rejected by those so described. The term is also accused of vagueness and lack of “substance” in the political science debate. Despite its widespread use, the term right-wing populism is not used in scientific discourse with a uniform, generally recognized meaning.

The phenomenon of right-wing populism is not only viewed in isolation, but also in the context of a possible general increase in the appearance of populist movements and parties - for example from the area of ​​left-wing populism - that are trying to attract a similar or the same constituency.

An example of right-wing populism in western countries is the blanket rejection of Islam , as here at an anti-mosque demonstration by Pro Köln in 2008: “Sachsenmut stops the flood of Muslims”


A proper definition of populism is facing the difficulty of the concept of the polemical use as a political rallying cry to replace by the media and politics in order to use it worth judgmental in the scientific sense. There is currently no uniform definition. Nevertheless, a common core of right-wing populist politics can be identified: The decisive factor is an identity politics in which a threatened community is constructed.

Right-wing populism is close in many areas to both conservatism and the extreme right, which emerged from the tradition of National Socialist and Fascist movements after 1945. In addition, it is a recent phenomenon that appeared in some countries from the 1980s, but in others only at the end of the 1990s or only marginally. In an intra-European comparison, there are large differences between the parties, persons and organizations that are assessed as right-wing populist. This is due to the national orientation of right-wing populism, the different histories of the European states and the respective forms of the political system and the party landscape. Right-wing populism is not only represented by young “ protest parties ”; the established democratic parties and the extreme right have also adopted many of its positions and attitudes. Nevertheless, there are similarities that set right-wing populism apart from other political movements and are found in different forms among all of its representatives.

Against the political establishment and authorities

The expression “right-wing populism” connects the political right with the concept of populism . Like other populisms, it is primarily based on a natural, homogeneous base set in the population, which is usually referred to simply as "the people". Virtues and values ​​are ascribed to this “people” as the majority of the population, such as “ common sense ”, decency or honesty, in order to create an image with which the population can and will identify. This is contrasted with a negative image of the political class , which is portrayed as consistently corrupt, remote from the people and selfish. In order to attract attention, right-wing populism deliberately breaks taboos and provokes, also to break away from the established party landscape.

Characteristic for the personnel structure of almost all right-wing populist parties is a strong leadership figure who appears as the face of the party, who embodies the homogeneity of the movement and is intended to appeal to a “longing for the strong man”. This aspect often poses a problem for these parties because the central figure is often difficult to replace and its loss can go hand in hand with the decline of the party.

Since right-wing populism is based on a fundamental commonality of all people in the people, they are also assumed to have common interests that are not negotiable in the formation of political will. Right-wing populists see themselves as advocates of the people and their interests vis-à-vis the political class and stage themselves as fighters for freedom and the will of the people and against politics, the positions and values ​​of the established political institutions. Right-wing populism attributes conflicts or competing interests within the “people” solely to a failed policy of the ruling parties, which has to be overcome in order to restore the unity of the people. Florian Hartleb describes this as a "vertical" aspect of right-wing populism: "'We' against 'those-up there'".

Right-wing populism behaves in an ambivalent manner: While it demands a strong state in some areas of politics, such as the fight against crime, it rejects it in other areas and instead calls for referendums because it mistrusts the representative character of parliaments and, through them, the will of the people looks falsified. Right-wing populists do not necessarily have to believe in the benefits of plebiscitary procedures; the demand for them serves primarily to fight the established parties. In order to express the distance to the party system, right-wing populist parties usually choose names such as “League”, “Citizens' Initiative” or “Bund”; often they share many characteristics with social movements . This attitude can go so far that right-wing populists completely reject the form of organization as a party, which often prevents them from establishing themselves in the party landscape. In addition, they often suffer a loss of credibility as soon as they come into government responsibility because they themselves then take on the role of the establishment.

This anti-authority attitude applies particularly to the European Union (EU) and its institutions, which have an overriding influence on the respective national politics due to contractual regulations of the member states. They regard the political apparatus of the EU as bureaucratic and remote from the citizenry, its representatives as selfish self-enrichment. In their eyes, the euro and the eastward expansion of the EU represent incapacitation of the citizens, because they were not decided by referendum and would mostly bring them disadvantages. Right-wing populists therefore often take Eurosceptic positions. Right-wing populists only see meaning in the European Union as “ Fortress Europe ” and in a union of “related” cultures against “strange” immigrants.

Against minorities

AfD leaflets, 2016

In addition to this rejection of the political establishment, which is characteristic of all populisms, there is a xenophobic , anti- pluralistic and anti-Galitarian component in that social and ethnic minorities are rejected: their interests are diametrically opposed to those of the majority population and are incompatible with them. The established parties are assumed to protect these minorities and to bow to their influence. Right-wing populists convey this worldview through monocausal and simplistic interpretations. For example, they do not attribute crime among migrants to their social disadvantage, but rather declare it to be an intrinsic part of the immigrants' culture. Problems are not seen as the result of social and political structures, but as the fault of certain groups and are thus personalized. This represents a "horizontal" demarcation of the people from these groups.

Right-wing populism therefore warns of the negative consequences it sees as a result of immigration: foreign infiltration , loss of traditional cultural identity , increased crime or the rule of religious fundamentalism are inevitable consequences when a large number of "strange" people immigrate to or from a country higher birth rates prevail. Right-wing populists sketch a conflict between democracy, prosperity and security as a “ western ” or national culture on the one hand and the culture of the “alien” on the other. In doing so, they avoid classically racist argumentation and instead represent a culturalist worldview in which cultures are seen as clearly separated from one another, homogeneous, incompatible and inalienable.

In Western Europe, this xenophobia is directed against illegal immigrants and, above all, against Muslims, whom right-wing populists accuse of anti-democratic ideas. They warn against offering Islamic immigrants comprehensive rights and social benefits as this would unnecessarily reward and reinforce their negative attitudes towards society. Instead, they try to push back the cultural enemy image: Symbols such as headscarves, minarets or prayer rooms in schools as signs of Islamic culture that are visible to everyone are usually the focus of rejection. This radically anti-Islamic course predominates in the states in which there are significant Muslim minorities. Where these are absent, as in the states of the former Eastern Bloc, other population groups such as Roma , foreign investors, homosexuals or Jews take their place. However, minorities do not necessarily have to be numerous or actually present, as the anti-Semitic discourse of the Hungarian Jobbik shows, which polemicizes against an “ international Jewry ” that Hungary allegedly wants to buy up.

Similar xenophobic patterns can also be seen along language boundaries or differences in wealth: In Belgium, the right-wing populist Vlaams Belang is fueling the conflict between Flemings and Walloons and is demanding financial and political independence for the Flemish. In Italy, the Lega Nord campaigns for a sovereign, financially strong northern Italy and accuses the southern provinces of living at the expense of the northern Italians.

The integration of minorities into society see right-wing populists as failed or impossible, the reason for this lies in their eyes solely with the minorities that their obligation to deliver - have not been met - to adapt to the majority population. There can be no peaceful coexistence because it is not in the interests of the minorities. The “foreign” minorities would have to be put in their place by the state and, if necessary, expelled from society or the state.

Law and Order

In a similar manner, right-wing populists take advantage of diffuse fears of excessive crime, which massively endangers public safety and is growing ever stronger. In response, they are calling for a punitive “law-and-order” policy that includes measures such as video surveillance, an increase in security staff and more powers for the police. These measures are primarily aimed at the publicly perceptible symptoms of violent crime and aim at repression and deterrence ( zero tolerance strategy ); the causes are either not addressed or looked for solely with alleged or actual criminals.

Right-wing populism suspects immigrants in particular and social and political marginalized groups of fundamentally inclining to criminality and of refusing to comply with the law. He also demands particularly harsh punishments for acts such as sexual offenses and homicides that trigger strong negative emotions in public.

The social scientist Max Roser points out that the excessive attention that the media devotes to terrorism and the reporting of violence can lead to an overestimation of the risk of violence and that this can contribute to increasing the political demand for “law and order” .

According to Klaus Ottomeyer , right-wing populists also tried “always right from the start” to torpedo the independence of the judiciary or to make it look ridiculous.

Criticism of Globalization and Neoliberalism

FPÖ poster, 2008

The right-wing populist view of neoliberalism and globalization is mixed: On the one hand, right-wing populism advocates the state-critical character of neoliberalism and calls for lower taxes, primarily for the middle class, but ultimately for the entire economy. Right-wing populism advocates the privatization of state-owned companies because it mistrusts the government's power over core economic areas, and advocates financial reward for performance and, above all, economically strong classes; The benefits are to be withdrawn from those who refuse to perform. It is suggested to the voter that the existing system is to blame for his actual or feared social or economic decline because it does not reward the services he has provided - education, work or talents. Instead, the state finances the abuse of social systems and protects marginalized groups and the ruling class.

On the other hand, right-wing populism also advocates financial support for families and the national economy and pleads for protectionist measures to protect domestic markets against imports from low-wage countries and, conversely, to strengthen their own exports. Right-wing populism is addressing prosperity chauvinism in parts of the population: only those aspects of globalization and neoliberalism are accepted that serve their own interests. On the other hand, the partial aspects that have alleged or actual disadvantages for the own person or the population are discarded. This attitude is, among other things, a result of the pressure on social systems from modernization processes. The question raised by this about a contemporary welfare state and social justice is answered by right-wing populism with a nationalist point of view: First of all, the own population and the domestic economy should be promoted; He wants to take decisive action against “economic refugees”, cheap imports or financial taxes to the EU.

Right-wing populists forego a consistent stance on neoliberalism and globalization: on the one hand because many of their demands ultimately contradict each other, on the other hand because they want to appeal to a wide range of voters who do not have uniform economic interests. Although they ostensibly reject interventionism, they never go so far as to deny support to the domestic economy. Right-wing populists appear to be radical in the market when they can positively differentiate themselves from established politics. Wherever social cuts would affect large parts of the population, they oppose it. The differences are relatively large within right-wing populism. This is due on the one hand to the different national circumstances and on the other hand to the ideological positioning. Representatives of right-wing populism who are closer to right-wing extremism, such as the French Front National , tend to favor protectionist models and are more oriented towards the welfare state. Parties like the Dutch Partij voor de Vrijheid , who consciously want to distance themselves from right-wing extremism, often resort to more neoliberal argumentation models.

Jean-Yves Camus , among others, sees this taking up neoliberal ideas and the positive reference to " ultra- liberal protectionist capitalism" by right-wing populism as a modernization of neo-fascism and the decisive demarcation of this new type of party from classic neo-fascism and neo-Nazism with their right - wing anti-capitalism like him NPD and British National Party represented.

Target audience, rhetoric and ideology

Beyond these points, it is difficult to find common ground among right-wing populist parties. On the one hand, this is due to the nature of right-wing populism, which does not represent a consistent ideology , but rather makes use of the interpretations offered by existing ideologies such as nationalism , neoliberalism or social democracy . Since these generally contradict each other, right-wing populist parties refrain from working out a detailed program or pursuing a comprehensive concept of values. On the other hand, right-wing populists orientate themselves strongly to the political culture of their home states in order to be successful. While many Eastern European movements are strongly oriented towards material variables such as work, prosperity or property, right-wing populists in the comparatively modern Netherlands place more value on post-materialist categories such as freedom, identity or culture, because the population does not see their material prosperity at risk in the medium term.

Right-wing populist parties usually form their programs around individual problems that they liberate from their context, lead back to deliberate conspiracies against the people, and stylize them as manifestations of crisis of the greatest threat. At the same time, they offer proposed solutions that are intended to bring about a fundamental turnaround in these crises. The attitude to areas that are not affected by the central concepts of right-wing populism - such as environmental protection, foreign or cultural policy - is either indifferent or serves to round off the program.

At the center of right-wing populist programs is the establishment of identity through demarcation from politics and marginalized social groups, who are held responsible for the problems or seen as their cause. As a result, right-wing populism can appeal to voters from all walks of life - farmers, unemployed, managers, doctors or the self-employed - to appeal to their fears of modernization processes and thus work beyond the sphere of influence of traditional conservative or extreme right-wing parties. It only plays a minor role which class the voters come from and whether they actually lose their status through modernization or whether they just fear it. This is clearly shown by the example of the Austrian FPÖ : In the course of its "modernization" under Jörg Haider , it was able to win more and more voters who came from very different classes until it entered government in 2000. From what was originally a small bourgeois party, it turned into a party that could appeal to a double-digit percentage of voters in all classes. It was disproportionately successful with people who were only weakly anchored in traditional identity-building institutions: " Baptism Catholics ", young people, workers without union membership or people without higher education. Anton Pelinka ascribes a high fear of social decline and a longing for social stability to this target group. Men are mostly over-represented in the electorate of right-wing populist parties, which is why some political scientists speculate that right-wing populism could also be a reaction to women's emancipation . According to the gender researcher and sociologist Franziska Schutzbach, right-wing populist rhetoric creates links to conservatives, liberals and the left. The purpose of this hinge function is to make right-wing ideology appear suitable for the masses and compatible with the bourgeois center and to stir up fear and hatred by means of a distorted representation of reality, for example with the help of the terms "refugee flow" and " Islamization of the West".

Since this identity creation never resolves the existing social, economic and political conflicts of interest within the electorate, this strategy is usually only successful as long as right-wing populists do not have to keep their promises and cannot implement their demands. If, on the other hand, right-wing populist parties become responsible for government, they have only two options: Either they maintain their radical course and thus necessarily have to pursue politics against one of their original target groups, or they move away from their maximum demands and try to mediate politics. Both involve the risk of disappointment among voters, the latter being made more difficult by the lack of a comprehensive program in purely right-wing populist parties. Many representatives of right-wing populism are therefore shifting the boundaries of political discourse and putting the established parties under pressure. These respond to the electoral successes of the right-wing populists by appropriating a partially right-wing populist program and rhetoric in order to oust the right-wing populists. In doing so, however, they only contribute to the success of right-wing populists by on the one hand reinforcing their goals and their demeanor and on the other hand confirming their "outsider role". The right-wing populist parties can therefore claim that they have the right concepts. At the same time, they can point out that these repression efforts stem from a fundamental hostility of the established parties to the people and their supposed lawyer, right-wing populism.


The demarcation of right-wing populism is difficult because it is not a classic ideology, but rather a form of politics that combines conservative and extremely right-wing concepts with a strategy of breaking taboos, marginalization and opportunism. It can therefore also be represented by originally conservative, radical right-wing, social democratic or liberal politicians and parties, even if not in its pure form. Right-wing populist parties are often labeled " right-wing conservative ", " right-wing extremist " or simply " conservative " - be it by third parties or by their own representatives. These terms often only partially apply; In the opinion of the proponents of the right-wing populism approach, despite the points of contact, the parties of right-wing populism that have emerged since the 1980s have decisive differences to all parties that are traditionally described as conservative or right-wing extremist.


Conservative parties traditionally see themselves as guardians of the state and its order. At first glance, there are many similarities, for example in the attitude towards the state in security issues, the fundamental support for the market economy, in the tendency to reject the emancipation of parts of society or in the preservation of national independence. The fundamental difference, however, lies in the conservative self-image: While right-wing populists deliberately take an outsider position and oppose the political establishment, conservatism sees itself as the guardian of the state and the guardian of political institutions. Conservatism sees itself as the "outflow of the social elite" (Florian Hartleb), while right-wing populism sees itself in the role of the tribune of the people. The representative elements of democracy such as parliament or government are viewed suspiciously and critically by right-wing populists; for conservatives, these are an integral and important part of the system, unlike referendums, for example. In addition, conservative parties usually have a comprehensive catalog of values ​​and take a firm stance on all questions of politics. Right-wing populism, on the other hand, behaves more volatile and in many cases is based on the current mood, even if this - for example in environmental issues - does not correspond to the conservative line. Often, however, right-wing populist parties benefit from the weakness of their conservative competitors if they are unable to adequately integrate right-wing and strongly conservative positions into their politics.

Extreme and radical right

There is a certain closeness between the anti-democratic, radical nationalist and racist parties , usually referred to as right-wing extremists , and the representatives of right-wing populism in Europe, without the two trends being equated with one another. There are programmatic similarities and often overlaps, because many right-wing extremist parties have successfully adapted right-wing populist patterns without, however, completely abandoning their roots.

There is far-reaching agreement between the two currents, for example, on the question of immigration and the integration of certain ethnic groups into the nation-states, which right-wing populists view at least critically and right-wing extremists generally negatively. While National Socialism completely denied the right to exist for some peoples or “races”, the more modern movements from the right-wing extremist spectrum developed the concept of ethnopluralism , which in principle advocates the diversity of cultures and ethnic groups, but has a permanent place in their “ancestral” nation states assigns. Right-wing populists also use this concept. Migration is not completely rejected, but immigrants are required to assimilate into the national culture, whereby Muslims in particular are often referred to as “not integrable” or “not assimilable”. It is therefore postulated that Islam and the “Christian (Jewish) Western culture” are incompatible with one another. The concept of race is avoided by right-wing populist parties because it is now considered to be politically charged and scientifically refuted, but its thought patterns are still used, which is also known as culturalism , neo-racism or racism without races . There is also rejection of both political directions with regard to the established parties. But while right-wing populism criticizes the respective representatives of the political system - government, media or parliament - it also assumes that a functioning democracy and an honest administration are at least possible, and emphasizes its loyalty to the constitution. Right-wing extremism, on the other hand, sees the system itself as a failure and demands - in various forms - a state controlled by an authoritarian “leader”. In addition, there are ideologies that are relatively coherent with fascism and National Socialism , which the right-wing extremist parties rely heavily on. Right-wing populism, on the other hand, only takes up individual elements of right-wing extremist ideologies - such as anti-pluralism, racism in the form of culturalism or nationalism - and tries to reconcile them with a fundamental acceptance of the democratic system. Above all, many Western European representatives of right-wing populism emphasize their distance from right-wing extremism, anti-Semitism and National Socialism; they often present themselves as explicitly philosemitic as well as pro- Israel (which is interpreted by scholars as an attempt to instrumentalize their own Islamophobic goals; moreover, the appeal to a “Judeo-Christian heritage” is the mere attempt to stylize oneself as “democratic”, “By portraying the most popular scapegoat in European history as 'one of us'”) and emphasize the importance of Christian, liberal and humanistic values, without these necessarily having to find their way into your program. According to Franziska Schutzbach, the strategy of right-wing populist parties to claim bourgeois ideals such as freedom of expression and self-determination instead of right-wing extremist values ​​serves the goal of disguising the extremist elements; The tactic of equidistance pursues the same purpose - an apparent rejection of categories such as right and left - as well as self-portrayal as a freedom fighter against a denounced supposed “dictatorship of opinion”, where “freedom” for right-wing populists really means a hierarchical society in which not all people are equal are worth a lot. Schutzbach therefore speaks of a “paradoxical dual role of bourgeoisie and extremism”.

It is precisely this aspect of the emphasis on bourgeoisie and humanistic values ​​that often arouses strong criticism of the extreme right of right-wing populist parties, which they accuse of ingratiating themselves with the system or of betraying “right values”. By breaking away from the frowned upon National Socialism, the right-wing populists lay the foundations for their “political ability” and avoid a blanket rejection as anti-democratic and anti-subversive. Due to the close relationship to right-wing extremism, the problem of infiltration by right-wing extremists arises for many right-wing populist parties because they offer them certain points of contact. As a result, they lose their aura of loyalty to the constitution and run the risk of being sidelined.

Criticism, scope and ambiguity of the concept

The concept of right-wing populism is much discussed in political science. Part of the criticism is primarily directed against the term populism , which Lars Rensmann , for example, sees as having a negative connotation in common parlance. In politics and the media, closeness to the people, direct democracy or taking up current moods are generally disqualified as “populist” and the political opponent is accused of simplifying matters and behaving opportunistically. As a result, Rensmann often sees the use of the term in public as being motivated by populism: “Populism” is not infrequently “a dazzling catchphrase, hence a political battle term.” In addition, it is very diffuse and complex, which makes uniform operationalization difficult; for this reason some political scientists avoid the concept when describing the young European right-wing parties. Especially in the early days of Western European right-wing populism, the social sciences were divided on whether the newly emerged right-wing parties could be described under a common concept or whether they should rather be understood under the term right-wing extremism . The second point of view was mainly represented with a view to parties like the FPÖ under Jörg Haider or the German Republicans , which showed a very clear continuity with right-wing extremism. The focus was also on the fear that the designation as right-wing populist could have a political downside.

With the simultaneous emergence of similar parties in the states of the former Eastern Bloc and the rise of corresponding movements in Western Europe, the term established itself in party research. Its supporters point out above all that these parties cannot really be assigned to any of the traditional party families and at most contain elements of different currents. In addition, classic right-wing extremism has many representatives who have nothing populist about them. Overall, the ideological peculiarities, the rhetoric and the Europe-wide dissemination of the new right-wing parties justified a uniform classification as right-wing populist, but a strict operationalization and limitation of the term is crucial in its use. Opponents of the term, however, continue to regard it as "bold and polemical, without much substance" and criticize the fact that a uniform right-wing populist European movement is a contradiction in terms, simply because it is tied to national societies with their specific discourses.

There is also disagreement among the representatives of the term about the scope of the phenomenon: While authors like Frank Decker always refer in their work to the “ambivalence” of the term and the range of “positions” it encompasses and in it genuinely extremist groupings and conceptions of differentiate between moderate and non-systemic, Alexander Häusler criticizes the distinction between right-wing extremism and right-wing populism as a whole. In his view, right-wing populism represents nothing less than a renewal of the “extreme right”. Accordingly, there is no “consensual [.] Definition of right-wing populism”, and “there are also different views on its scope”. For Ralf Melzer , right-wing populist parties and movements “deliberately operate in the gray area of ​​right-wing extremism”. He also points out that they "can change, that is, radicalize or de-radicalize" - partly for tactical reasons.

The sociologist Wilhelm Heitmeyer considers the term right-wing populism to be belittling and vague and instead speaks of authoritarian national radicalism.


An early example of a classic right-wing populist movement is Poujadism in France in the 1950s. A new form of right-wing populist movements emerged in Europe as a reaction to the social, economic and political upheavals of the 1060s and 1970s. At the end of the 1960s, Western European democracies were strongly shaped by social democracy. The economic boom after the end of World War II had enabled full employment and a certain prosperity for the lower class; the social systems were geared towards a low need for state benefits. Because there were not enough workers in many industries, many governments concluded recruitment agreements with southern and southeastern European countries that regulated the influx of foreign workers. Economic policy was dominated by Neo-Keynesianism , which advocated extensive state regulation of the markets.

With the end of the 1960s and the beginning of the 1970s there were social and economic upheavals. In many countries, left student movements turned against the authoritarian structures of post-war society , but continued to adhere to the goal of an “ affluent society ”. In 1973 the world monetary system collapsed and the first oil crisis led to unemployment and bankruptcies in many industrial sectors. Attempts by politicians to take countercyclical countermeasures failed.

As a result, both the New Left and the green parties associated with the student movements tried to differentiate themselves from traditional politics and were able to establish themselves successfully in the party system in many countries. Through their success, they shaped the political discourse strongly in their own direction: Freedom and post-materialist values ​​were given an appreciation, while the social mainstream increasingly moved away from the authoritarian structures of the pre-war and the immediate post-war period. At the same time, the governments of Western Europe turned away from neo-Keynesianism and towards neoliberalism . This was accompanied by a dismantling of the structures of the welfare state, the privatization of key sectors and the widespread rejection of interventionist politics. This was associated with a loss of social security, especially for the unemployed and the low-skilled. In addition, there was an increased “Europeanization” of the nation states : Political competences were given to the European Community , later to the European Union , which expanded further and had a stronger effect on the structures and laws of the member states.

As a reaction to these social, economic and political upheavals, new right-wing parties emerged in Denmark and Norway who tried to win over the people affected by the changes. The Vlaams Blok came into being in Belgium and the Front National adopted right-wing populist positions in France . What all these parties had in common was that they were able to attract voters from both the right and the political center. While they were initially seen as a short-term phenomenon, they were able to establish themselves in more and more countries: In Austria, the FPÖ swung on a right-wing populist course, followed by the “ Zurich wing ” of the SVP in Switzerland, led by Christoph Blocher . When the former chief strategist of Donald Trump , Steve Bannon , appeared in Oerlikon on March 6, 2018 , he praised Switzerland as the “cradle of the conservative turnaround” and Christoph Blocher as “Trump before Trump”. With the fall of the Iron Curtain , numerous populist parties emerged on the right edge of the spectrum in Eastern Europe, which were often short-lived but never completely disappeared from the scene. With the Lijst Pim Fortuyn , right-wing populism also reached the Netherlands, which until then had been regarded as enlightened, cosmopolitan and modern and thus “resistant”. While in the beginning the right-wing populist parties focused primarily on Euroscepticism and general xenophobia , after the attacks of September 11, 2001 , it was mainly the Western European right-wing populists who discovered anti-Islamism for themselves, which stylized European Muslims as an enemy. In this way, right-wing populism was able to create a common identity through exclusion from very different people who had lost their connection to their original milieus through transformation processes. The same applies to Eastern Europe, where the collapse of the socialist systems has brought about fundamental changes in society that affected the entire population.

Meaning and effect of right-wing populism

In the eyes of many political scientists, right-wing populism represents a renewal movement of the European right with which they react to the modernization of European democracies, address the losers of these developments and exploit the deficits of the respective political systems. On the one hand, they are an expression of widespread uncertainty due to the imponderables of transformation processes in politics, culture and economy, and on the other hand, a successful attempt by the right, who appeal to voters with modernized racism and anti-elitism, even in the middle of society.

Right-wing populists can have a major impact on the political landscape without being in power themselves. Since, as a “catch-all” party , they address the voter clientele of almost all other parties, they see themselves under uniform pressure to react to the right-wing populists. While right-wing populism was initially often perceived by political science as an enrichment of the political landscape and a useful corrective, skepticism has prevailed in the assessment for some time: If right-wing populism were merely a corrective, the relevant parties would either be withdrawn after a short time The spectrum of parties disappears or they would align themselves with the mainstream and give up their extreme positions; neither has happened so far. In contrast, it can be observed that the established parties are moving closer to the right-wing populists in terms of their demeanor and programs, for example by tailoring their election campaigns strongly to a leader, orienting themselves more towards the opinion of the party or voter base, and the parties as such taking a back seat . Politics is increasingly "staged" in the media, and the communication of political successes is gaining in importance. This does not mean, however, that politicians who are well versed in the media from the established parties also adopt right-wing populism's understanding of democracy; they merely adapt successful elements of its rhetoric.

Frank Decker's assessment of the risk potential for democracy is mixed. In the form of opposition parties, right-wing populism poses no threat to democratic systems in the medium term. However, the examples of Italy and Austria showed that right-wing populist governments could have devastating consequences for the politics of states. This aspect would not be put into perspective by the frequent, rapid failure of right-wing populist governments. With a view to historical populist movements in Latin America or Eastern Europe, there is also the threat of a transformation towards an authoritarian state . The danger is greatest where right-wing populists undermine the consensus properties of political systems and thus prevent the inclusion of all social groups. In this case, Decker regards the protective mechanisms of the constitutional state as all the more important in order to preserve democracy. He also recommends involving the population more closely in politics through plebiscitary elements in order to anticipate right-wing populism by promoting referendums in their own interest.


See: Populism # Causes

Right-wing populism in Europe

List of right-wing populist parties in European national parliaments (sorted by election results, as of July 5, 2020)
country Political party logo Party leader % National
(last choice)
Seats National government
% EU Seats EU EU Group
HungaryHungary Hungary Fidesz - Hungarian Citizens' Union (Fidesz) Fidesz.png Orbán Viktor 2015 február.jpg
Viktor Orbán
( 2018 )
(constitutional majority)
PolandPoland Poland Law and Justice (PiS) PiS Teillogo.svg Jarosław Kaczyński Sejm 2016a.JPG
Jarosław Kaczyński
( 2019 )
(absolute majority)
Confederation of Freedom and Independence (Konfederacja) Robert Winnicki
Grzegorz Braun
Janusz Korwin-Mikke
( 2019 )
No 4.6
SloveniaSlovenia Slovenia Slovenian Democratic Party (SDS) SDS logotype.svg Janez Janša 2017.jpg
Janez Janša
( 2018 )
Yes 26.3
Slovenian National Party (SNS) Logo of the Slovenian National Party.png Zmago Jelinčič 2011.jpg
Zmago Jelinčič
( 2018 )
(tolerates government)
SwitzerlandSwitzerland Switzerland Swiss People's Party (SVP) SVP.svg Albert Rösti.jpg
Albert Rösti
( 2019 )
Yes not in the EU
LatviaLatvia Latvia Who Owns the State (KPV) Kam pieder valsts.png 12. Saeimas deputāts Arturs Kaimiņš (15382064724) .jpg
Arthur's Kaimiņš
( 2018 )
Yes 0.9
National Association (NA) 12.Saeimas deputāts Raivis Dzintars (15796319978) .jpg
Raivis Dzintars
( 2018 )
Yes 16.4
ItalyItaly Italy League (L) Matteo Salvini Viminale crop.jpg
Matteo Salvini
( 2018 )
3. joined
the electoral alliance
No 34.3
Brothers of Italy (FdI) Giorgia Meloni 2014.JPG
Giorgia Meloni
( 2018 )
5. joined
the electoral alliance
No 6.5
EstoniaEstonia Estonia Estonian Conservative People's Party (EKRE) EKRE logo.png RK Mart Helmets.jpg
Mart helmets
( 2019 )
Yes 12.7
LiechtensteinLiechtenstein Liechtenstein The independents (you) The Independents (LI) logo.png Image of none.svg
Harry Quaderer
( 2017 )
No not in the EU
FinlandFinland Finland The Finns (PeruS) Perussuomalaiset Logo.svg Jussi Halla-aho in Brussels 2014 (cropped) .jpg
Jussi Halla-aho
( 2019 )
No 13.8
SwedenSweden Sweden The Sweden Democrats (SD) Sverigedemokraterna Logo 2013.svg Jimmie Åkesson Almedalen 2018 (28390760747) Cropped.jpg
Jimmie Åkesson
( 2018 )
No 15.4
AustriaAustria Austria Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ) Logo of Freedom Party of Austria.svg Norbert Hofer - FPÖ New Year's Meeting 2019.JPG
Norbert Hofer
( 2019 )
No 17.2
NorwayNorway Norway Progressive Party (FrP) Fremskrittspartiet logo.png Siv Jensen NHO 2009 img02.jpg
Siv Jensen
( 2017 )
No not in the EU
SpainSpain Spain Voice (vox) VOX logo.svg Santiago Abascal IMG 3029 (17568663961) .jpg
Santiago Abascal Conde
( 2019 )
No 6.2
NetherlandsNetherlands Netherlands Party for Freedom (PVV) Partij voor de Vrijheid Logo.svg GW-Rotterdam-DSC0218.jpg
Geert Wilders
( 2017 )
No 3.5
Forum for Democracy (FvD) Forum voor Democratie Logo.png Thierry Baudet (2018) .jpg
Thierry Baudet
( 2017 )
No 11.0
FranceFrance France National Collection Movement (RN) Logo Rassemblement National.svg Le Pen, Marine-9586.jpg
Marine Le Pen
( 2017 )
No 23.3
RussiaRussia Russia Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR) Ldpr.svg Vladimir Zhirinovsky cropped.jpg
Vladimir Zhirinovsky
( 2016 )
No not in the EU
GermanyGermany Germany Alternative for Germany (AfD) Alternative-for-Germany-Logo-2013.svg Jörg Meuthen 2015 (portrait) .jpg
Jörg Meuthen Tino Chrupalla
2019-04-10 Tino Chrupalla MdB by Olaf Kosinsky-7650 (cropped) .jpg
( 2017 )
No 11.0
BelgiumBelgium Belgium Flemish Interests (VB) Vlaams belang parteilogo.svg Tom-van-grieken-1410248556.jpg
Tom Van Grieken
( 2019 )
No 12.1
CroatiaCroatia Croatia Home Movement (DPMS) Domovinski pokret logo.svg Miroslav Škoro.jpg
Miroslav Škoro
( 2020 )
No not started
DenmarkDenmark Denmark Danish People's Party (O) Dansk Folkeparti Logo.svg Kristian Thulesen Dahl, 25-05-2014.jpg
Kristian Thulesen Dahl
( 2019 )
No 10.8
New Bourgeois (D) Pernille Vermund - Ny Borgerlige.jpg
Pernille Vermund
( 2019 )
No not started
Czech RepublicCzech Republic Czech Republic Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD) SPD text logo.svg Tomio Okamura in 2012.JPG
Tomio Okamura
( 2017 )
No 9.1
BulgariaBulgaria Bulgaria United Patriots (OP) Logo of the United Patriots.svg Krassimir Karakachanov ,
Wolen Siderow ,
Valeri Simeonow
( 2017 )
Yes started as single parties
LuxembourgLuxembourg Luxembourg Alternative Democratic Reform Party (ADR) ADR.png Image of none.svg
Jean Schoos
( 2018 )
No 10.0
SlovakiaSlovakia Slovakia We are a family - Boris Kollár (SR) Image of none.svg
Boris Kollár
( 2020 )
Yes 3.2
LithuaniaLithuania Lithuania Order and Justice (TT) Image of none.svg
Remigijus Žemaitaitis
( 2016 )
No 2.7
SerbiaSerbia Serbia Serbian Patriotic Alliance (SPAS) Aca Sapic.jpg
Aleksandar Šapić
( 2020 )
No not in the EU
GreeceGreece Greece Greek solution (EL) Κυριάκος Βελόπουλος.jpg
Kyriakos Velopoulos
( 2019 )
No 4.2
PortugalPortugal Portugal Enough! (CH) André Ventura (Lancamento livro DiaD Trump) .jpg
André Ventura
( 2019 )
No 1.5
European parliaments with parties that are assigned to right-wing populism, among other things.
Right-wing populists represented in parliament Right-wing populists tolerate minority government Right-wing populists involved in government Right-wing populists make head of government

Since the emergence of right-wing populism, right-wing populist parties, associations or citizens' initiatives have been able to establish themselves across Europe at the local, subnational or national level. In the meantime, purely right-wing populist parties were represented at least temporarily in most national parliaments in Europe, with the UK and Ireland among the few exceptions. The reasons for the success or failure of right-wing populist movements in the individual states vary widely.

In Germany, the right-wing populist parties have so far only been temporarily successful and have not been able to establish themselves permanently at the state or federal level. The reasons for this are of a very heterogeneous nature, so the parties encounter unfavorable framework conditions such as federalism, the five percent clause and a political culture that, due to their historical background, have reservations about right-wing populist parties. Right-wing populist movements have emerged primarily at the regional level, such as the citizens in anger who are represented in the Bremen citizenship . The pro-movement also describes itself as “right-wing populist”, but is mostly classified by experts as right-wing extremist. Right-wing populist rhetoric is also used by the Republicans party , which was successful in some federal states in the 1990s, but has since been on the decline. Since 2013, the alternative for Germany , which is mostly classified as right-wing populist, has achieved success in several federal states. In Great Britain, on the other hand, the electoral system prevents the emergence and establishment of new parties, but the UK Independence Party was very successful in European elections, in 2014 it became the strongest force with 27.5%. Right-wing populists, on the other hand, had great success in so-called concordance democracies such as Switzerland ( Swiss People's Party ), Austria ( Freedom Party of Austria ) or the Netherlands ( Lijst Pim Fortuyn and Partij voor de Vrijheid ), which were characterized by relatively rigid party and proportional representation systems until the 1990s against which the right-wing populists competed. Elsewhere, right-wing extremist parties, such as the Vlaams Blok in Belgium or the Front National in France, successfully adapted right-wing populist models and became important political forces. In Scandinavia , right-wing populist parties now also play an important role in parliaments, especially the Norwegian Fremskrittspartiet , which combines right-wing populist demands with liberal business programs. In Italy, Silvio Berlusconi formed alliances with several right-wing parties such as the Allianza Nazionale and the Lega Nord and himself took a right-wing populist course. The reasons for the rise of all these parties were usually crises and social upheavals, which the established parties could do little to counter from the voters' point of view.

While the conditions of origin and the program of the Western European parties have been researched relatively well, the right-wing populist parties in Eastern Europe have so far only been the subject of populism research in isolated cases. They appeared shortly after the collapse of the socialist regimes and, compared to their Western European counterparts, are more characterized by materialistic values ​​and a different focus. They are more strongly attached to nationalism; in the absence of large Muslim minorities , Islamophobia mostly plays a subordinate role. Foreign investors from the EU, Russia, ethnic minorities (such as Roma) or Jews represent a projection screen for enemy images. One of the most successful parties is the Polish Law and Justice (Prawo i Sprawiedliwość; PiS), which took place between 2006 and 2007 presented both the President and the Prime Minister of Poland and stylized himself as a fighter for Poland's independence from the EU, Germany and Russia. In Hungary, there was a shift to the right in the 2009 parliamentary elections, in which, in addition to the neo-fascist-populist Jobbik , the later election winner Fidesz benefited with strongly right-wing populist rhetoric. Right-wing populist parties are also represented in the parliaments of Latvia ( Tēvzemei ​​un Brīvībai / LNNK ), Lithuania ( Tvarka ir teisingumas ), Slovenia ( Slovenian National Party ) and Slovakia ( People's Party - Movement for a Democratic Slovakia ). There are hardly any transnational right-wing populist movements at the moment; The Identity, Tradition, Sovereignty Group in the European Parliament , to which several right-wing populist parties belonged, existed only a few months before it broke up due to internal disputes. Her relatives then joined various factions. The following examples provide an overview of the various forms of right-wing populist parties in Europe:


In Germany, right-wing populist parties managed to achieve temporary electoral successes at the state level, above all the Republicans in Baden-Württemberg and Berlin and the Schill party in Hamburg. Under their chairman at the time, Franz Schönhuber, the Republicans made a targeted and successful appeal against fears of migrants and other minorities. Islamophobia was also part of their repertoire. The party attached importance to differentiating itself from the right-wing extremist parties NPD and DVU and not to be viewed as right-wing extremists. This did not succeed for a long time; The Office for the Protection of the Constitution in Baden-Wuerttemberg has only viewed the republicans as right-wing extremists since 2006. The party's great successes were the entry into the Berlin House of Representatives in 1989 and the Baden-Württemberg state parliament in 1992 as well as the successes in the Bavarian and Hessian local elections in 1990 and 1993. However, the party has been on a downward trend since then.

The Rule of Law Party (PRO, Schill Party) was the first original right-wing populist party to be elected in Germany. In 2001 she entered the Hamburg parliament with 19.9 percent of the vote and even formed a government coalition with Mayor Ole von Beust's CDU . The Schill party had a classic right-wing populist profile: law-and-order rhetoric, restrictive immigration policy, rejection of a multicultural society and an emphasis on social issues while at the same time economic liberalism. After persistent failure, it dissolved in 2007.

The pro-movement sometimes describes itself as right-wing populist, but is mostly classified by scientists as right-wing extremist. A large part of the leadership can be assigned to the extreme right and the self-staging as a citizen movement should be classified as an attempt to penetrate bourgeois circles with this new form and under the face of right-wing populism. The pro-movement takes on all classic forms of rhetoric of right-wing populism, the main focus is on Islamophobia, for example in campaigns against the building of mosques.

The political orientation of the Alternative for Germany (AfD) is controversial. In its founding phase, the party was characterized by internal conflicts between the various wings. An expertise by Alexander Häusler certifies that the AfD has right-wing populist traits in four program items. An alliance of various NGOs also criticized the various standpoints and demands of the AfD as factually wrong and right-wing populist. At the same time, the AfD is accused of unreflective behavior with regard to the new members. Since the Essen Party Congress in 2015, the AfD has been classified by the majority of observers as “nationally conservative” or “right-wing populist”, and individual currents as “right-wing extremist”. The former vice-chairman of the AfD, Hans-Olaf Henkel , warned against a shift to the right of his former party. For him, the AfD is now "a kind of NPD - light , maybe even identical to the NPD". According to the Amadeu Antonio Foundation , chaired by Anetta Kahane , the AfD should no longer be played down as populist, but it is now appropriate to speak of a "modernized new form of the NPD".

Austria: Freedom Party of Austria and Alliance Future Austria

The FPÖ chairman Heinz-Christian Strache at an election rally in 2008

In Austria there was a significant shift in the party landscape in the 1980s. Since the post-war period, the Austrian People's Party (ÖVP) and the Social Democratic Party of Austria (SPÖ) have dominated politics, which were characterized by a rigid system of proportional representation between the two camps. The Third Camp was represented in the National Council by the Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ) and until then only a small party whose liberal wing had prevailed in the early 1980s and in 1983 formed a coalition with the SPÖ.

This changed when Jörg Haider took over the leadership of the party in 1986 after a battle vote and positioned it as an anti-establishment party. Haider denounced corruption and the “ friendly economy ” of the major parties and adopted xenophobic tones. On the one hand, he tied the FPÖ's original right-wing radical clientele to himself, but also met with approval from those parts of the population who no longer identified with the ÖVP and SPÖ or the traditional milieus. After the Austrian Concordance showed more and more weaknesses, Haider was able to further increase the FPÖ's share of the vote. The FPÖ met numerous political scandals in the ÖVP and SPÖ. With Austria's accession to the EU, the party found another key issue in its criticism of Europe.

Election results of the FPÖ from 1956 to 2017 at federal level (1949 and 1953: VdU)

With his mixture of closeness to the people, party criticism, racism and Austrian patriotism, Haider steadily increased the FPÖ's election results until the party became the second strongest force in parliament in 1999. She entered into a coalition with the ÖVP as a junior partner, but found herself suddenly in a dilemma: Haider wanted to continue to oppose the government, but could not do so without damaging his own party. In addition, the one-sided program and personnel policy of the party, whose ministers had significant difficulties in their official business, took revenge. The fact that the FPÖ even tried to use the concordance for itself in its government role and got itself entangled in scandals led to a loss of confidence among voters. Finally, the party split up, with Haider, the FPÖ ministers and most of the club members in parliament , founding a new party, Alliance Future Austria (BZÖ), and continuing to run the government. The chairmanship of the FPÖ was taken over by Heinz-Christian Strache , who achieved a result of 17.5% for the party after an Austria-wide crash after the crisis in the 2008 National Council election . Haider's BZÖ gained 10.7%, with which the third camp found its way back to its original strength. Since Haider's accidental death in 2008, there have been signs of a decline in the BZÖ and a rise of the FPÖ, which ended in the 2013 National Council election with the BZÖ's departure from parliament and a result of 20.51 percent for the FPÖ. In the 2017 National Council election , the result increased significantly to 25.97 percent.

Italy: Lega Nord

Lega Nord election poster from 2008

Until the early 1990s, Italy had a party system that incorporated all democratic parties into the government. This system collapsed when, in the course of the manipulation, deep political entanglements in corruption and organized crime came to light. Italy carried out a reform of the electoral law and abandoned the previous principle of concordance, with numerous new foundations. The most successful was Silvio Berlusconi , who became the election winner with his Forza Italia in 1994 and, among other things, formed an alliance with the right-wing populist Lega Nord led by Umberto Bossi . Berlusconi and Bossi ruled - with interruptions - in a coalition, which was, however, characterized by constant new foundations, resignations, electoral losses and narrow majorities. Several government crises, abuses on the part of government members and corruption scandals have caused Italian confidence in politics to decline rapidly since then, while Berlusconi worked towards a depoliticization of public broadcasting. Berlusconi, however, missed his political goals - relieving the burden on the middle class and improving Italy's economic situation, also because efforts to this end were repeatedly torpedoed by the Lega Nord, which feared an excessive burden on northern Italy.

The Lega Nord sees itself as a party for the economically strong Italian north ( Padania ) and strives for greater autonomy, including sovereignty. She sees the domestic Italian compensatory payments to the poorer south as parasitic and wants to cut them or stop them altogether. It follows a strongly neoliberal course and relies above all on the strong industry in Northern Italy. In the past, however, she repeatedly came into conflict with coalition partner Alleanza Nazionale , who wanted to preserve Italian unity. In addition, the Lega Nord is racist and Islamophobic and tries to create a common northern Italian identity. Muslims as well as illegally immigrated Africans or allegedly work-shy southern Italians serve as a social enemy. The party is strongly oriented towards the person of Bossi, who more or less single-handedly sets the political direction.

Netherlands: Lijst Pim Fortuyn, Partij voor de Vrijheid and Forum voor Democratie

Geert Wilders in the final election debate in 2006

The right-wing populist Centrumpartij had already been represented in the Dutch parliament by one member, Hans Janmaat, since 1982 . In 1989 and 1994 he entered parliament again. In the 2002 elections, Lijst Pim Fortuyn (LPF) immediately became the second strongest force. Its founder and top candidate Pim Fortuyn had waged a strongly anti-Islamic election campaign and advocated the abolition of civil rights for Muslims; At the same time, however, he had campaigned for the rights of homosexuals and women and for democracy, because he saw these as threatened by Islam. He was murdered by a militant animal and environmental activist nine days before the general election; the LPF received a large number of votes and became part of the government coalition of the new Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende . The inexperience and disagreement among most LPF parliamentarians led to the overthrow of the cabinet after only 87 days. In the new election in 2003, voters' approval fell dramatically, the LPF disappeared completely from parliament in the parliamentary elections in 2006 and finally dissolved on January 1, 2008 - it obviously lacked Fortuyn as a leader. Their temporary popularity, however, opened up opportunities for political success for other right-wing parties that formed after the collapse of the LPF. Among these successor parties, the Partij voor de Vrijheid (PVV) was the most successful: Under the former VVD politician Geert Wilders , it reached 5.9% in 2006, and in the 2010 parliamentary elections it even increased to 15.5% and has since tolerated a minority government .

The success of the LPF and PVV made Dutch immigration and integration policies much more restrictive and the ideal of a multicultural society was largely abandoned. At the same time, the disputes in the political discourse became more polemical and heated, and some of the established parties were in some cases (rhetorically and / or actually) approaching right-wing populists.

In addition to the comprehensive rejection of Islam , the PVV and LPF also have in common their aversion to the government system of the Netherlands , which is strongly based on mediation and consensus ; Like the LPF, the PVV also rejects stronger European unification and emphasizes Dutch nationalism, but at the same time emphasizes the importance of democracy and freedom and advocates the integration of non-Muslim immigrants who are already in the country. The rest of the program is rather thin and mainly serves to round off the central program items.

Many political scientists see the reasons for the success of the right-wing populists in the dissatisfaction of the voters with the consensus democracy : Originally it was supposed to guarantee the participation of all social groups in politics. However, since fewer and fewer Dutch people identify with traditional milieus , they see their interests inadequately represented by the negotiation-oriented "backroom politics" of the established parties.

The Dutch sociologist Paul Scheffer sees a similar social upheaval in the election successes as in the 1960s:

So we are at the intersection of two developments: social and cultural tensions have increased, while at the same time the ability of the traditional people 's parties to bridge these differences is decreasing. In a way, the current social turmoil is similar to that of the 1960s - with one big difference: the rebellion of that time was characterized by the search for more freedom, today the unease is above all an expression of the longing for more security. Populism can be seen as a form of protectionism . A considerable part of the population is looking for protection and security. "

- Paul Scheffer : Die Zeit No. 44 of October 28, 2010

The right-wing populist Forum voor Democratie was founded in September 2016 . In addition to classic right-wing populism issues such as EU skepticism, rejection of excessive migration and demands for more direct democracy, the FVD also represents positions that are rather untypical for right-wing populist parties.

Right-wing populism in the USA

See: Tea Party Movements

Authoritarian national radicalism

In the media reception, right-wing populism is often spoken of, although the terms right-wing populism and right-wing extremism are relatively vague, but correspond to one another. Right-wing populism is seen as a political phenomenon, right-wing extremism as a phenomenon of violence against minorities or those who think differently. Both phenomena pursue similar goals and use the same ideals, albeit in very different forms or positions. The sociologist Wilhelm Heitmeyer suggests the term “authoritarian national radicalism” , as both phenomena aim to destabilize institutions that are important for society.

Sources and References


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Web links

Individual evidence

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  3. ^ Roland Sturm: Right-wing populism. In: Dieter Nohlen, Rainer-Olaf Schultze (Hrsg.): Lexicon of political science. 4th, updated and expanded edition. CH Beck Verlag, Munich 2010, p. 887 ff.
  4. a b Richard Stöss : The right edge of the party system. In: Oskar Niedermayer (Ed.): Handbook of political party research. VS Springer: Wiesbaden 2013, p. 575.
  5. Frank Decker: The Populist Challenge. Theoretical and cross-country perspectives. In: Frank Decker (Ed.): Populism in Europe. Federal Agency for Civic Education, Bonn 2006, p. 22 ff.
  6. Frank Decker: The Populist Challenge. Theoretical and cross-country perspectives. In: Frank Decker (Ed.): Populism in Europe. Federal Agency for Civic Education, Bonn 2006, p. 23.
  7. Karin Priester: Populism as a protest movement. In: Alexander Häusler (Ed.): Right-wing populism as a "citizen movement". Campaigns against Islam and the construction of mosques and communal counter-strategies. Wiesbaden 2008, p. 19.
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