The investigation into the anti-Islam Wilders follows a request for judicial assistance from Vienna, after a March 2015 address by Wilders at a gathering of Austria’s far right Freedom Party (FPÖ).
In de media
Geert Wilders founded his Party for Freedom (PVV) in 2006 with a declaration of independence from the “elite in The Hague”, and from the outset has espoused anti-Muslim rhetoric, promising to enshrine the “dominance of the Judeo-Christian tradition” in the Dutch constitution.
As concern grows that Dutch politics is being influenced by American money, a new campaign disclosure report released in the Netherlands on Wednesday provided a twist: The spigot of American cash seems to have been mostly shut off.
Still in shock over the “populist victories” of Brexit and Donald Trump in 2016, the world is zeroing in on the small country of the Netherlands as it kicks off a year of elections that, according to the most sensationalist accounts, could determine the fate of European integration if not democracy.
The David Horowitz Freedom Center, a controversial California-based nonprofit that sponsors virulently anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant campaigns in the U.S., has quietly played a prominent role in financing Dutch far-right nationalist Geert Wilders’s People’s Party for Freedom (PVV).
Since the evening in 2004 when policemen arrived unannounced to escort him and his wife to safety, Geert Wilders has lived in safe houses under 24-hour guard to protect him from Islamist militants who threatened to kill him.
Film-maker Theo van Gogh had been shot, stabbed and nearly beheaded by a militant Islamist earlier that day, and Wilders, another prominent critic of Islam, was seen as a likely next target.
Freedom Party head Geert Wilders has pledged to crack down on “Moroccan scum” as he kicks off his election campaign. Wilders leads polls but would struggle to form a government, having been shunned by mainstream parties.
Netherlands (AP) — Anti-Islam populist Geert Wilders has kicked off his campaign Saturday for Dutch parliamentary elections, amid tight security and intense media interest in a blue-collar town near Rotterdam.
Surrounded by police and trailed by a small group of protesters and a much larger throng of journalists, Wilders handed out fliers and posed for selfies with supporters at a market in Spijkenisse.
Populist parties are growing in strength across Europe – emboldened by both Brexit and Trump. There’s Marine Le Pen and the National Front in France of course. But there’s a critical election before that: next month, in Holland. Geert Wilders – who leads the anti Muslim Freedom Party is hoping to top the ballot. He wants to take them out of the EU, and to ‘de-islamise the Netherlands’ with a ban on immigration from Muslim countries. In 2016 he was convicted of inciting discrimination. The Dutch coalition system means it’s unlikely Wilders will be crowned Prime Minister. But he could end up leading the largest party which would chill European centrists and boost other populist movements throughout the continent. We sent John Sweeney in pursuit.
Dutch far-right MP Geert Wilders, known for his comments attacking Islam and Muslims, has triggered a fight over fake news, after posting a Twitter message showing a digitally altered picture of another party leader at a rally.
On Saturday, the head of the Alternative for Germany Frauke Petry and Marine LePen from France’s National Front are to meet at a gathering of European right-wing parties. This is a controversial event within the AfD.
Two months ahead of the Dutch parliamentary election of March 15, Dutch prime minister and leader of the Liberal Party (VVD) Mark Rutte has ruled out cooperating with the radical right Freedom Party (PVV) of Geert Wilders. Most other parties have also dismissed the idea of participating in a government with the PVV. If the prime minister and other party leaders stick to their words, and if the PVV performs as well as expected, the Dutch coalition formation process is bound to become complicated.
A court in Amsterdam has found Geert Wilders, a populist anti-Islam Dutch parliamentarian, guilty of discrimination against Moroccans.
Prosecutors have demanded anti-immigration politician Geert Wilders be fined 5,000 euros on charges of hate speech. The trial concerns a 2014 speech in which the prosecution said Wilders incited hatred against Moroccans.
Geert Wilders, the leader of the Dutch far-right Freedom Party (PVV), said on Tuesday that he could become the next prime minister of the Netherlands.
Wilders, speaking at an event during the U.S. Republican Party Convention in Cleveland, said that his party has been gaining ground and has been “the number one party in the opinion polls” for the past year.
A former spokesman for Dutch far-right leader Geert Wilders used party cash to buy tickets to a Madonna concert, pay parking fines, take a trip to Berlin and purchase engagement rings, according to expense reports published Monday.
Michael Heemels, chairman of the Freedom Party in the province of Limburg and a spokesman for controversial party leader Wilders, quit in February after admitting that he used €176,000 in party money to fund an alcohol and drugs addiction.
Geert Wilders, the far-right politician who was acquitted five years ago of making anti-Islam remarks, has gone on trial again for allegedly inciting hatred against the Dutch Moroccan minority.
The case comes as Wilders and other populist politicians – including Donald Trump in the US and Marine le Pen in France – have won support by calling for a ban on Muslim immigration
Today is a special day in Dutch political history: it is the birthday of the Party for Freedom (PVV), a party known mostly for its “firebrand” leader, Geert Wilders. Wilders entered Dutch politics as a member of the conservative People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD), but left the party after his increased criticism had marginalized his position within the parliamentary faction. After a short period in the Second Chamber as the “Group Wilders” (a group of one), he founded the PVV – which still operates as part of the Foundation Group Wilders, with one sole member (Wilders).
A spokesman for Dutch far-right leader Geert Wilders quit the party Thursday after admitting that he used party cash to fund an alcohol and drugs addiction.
Michael Heemels was a spokesperson for Wilders and chair of the PVV party in the province of Limburg.
Dutch anti-immigrant politician Geert Wilders has handed out self-defence sprays to women fearful of what he described as “Islamic testosterone bombs”.
The publicity stunt, which occurred in the town of Spijkenisse near Rotterdam on Saturday, came in the wake of the New Year’s Eve sexual assaults in Cologne.
Stormfront, the Internet’s most infamous bastion of white supremacy and hate, is inaccessible for the third straight day, leaving the racist board’s founder Stephen Don Black questioning the viability of a mission he began two decades ago.
The European Parliament will withhold €1,530 in allowances from Dutch member Marcel de Graaff, for unauthorised voting on behalf of his far-right French colleague Marine Le Pen.
The penalty is the result of an inquiry by EP president Martin Schulz, after De Graaff was seen using Le Pen’s electronic voting card at a session in Strasbourg on 28 October, which is not allowed by parliament’s rules.
No press, and it’s invitation-only to an event at an undisclosed location in Western Australia, attended by one of the democratic world’s most divisive politicians.
On Tuesday, Geert Wilders, controversial leader of the right-wing Netherlands’ Party for Freedom, will be the keynote speaker at the launch of the Australian Liberty Alliance (ALA).
Former English Defence League leader Tommy Robinson spoke at a Pegida launch in the Netherlands on Sunday calling on crowds to “all stand together” to fight Islamification.
Robinson addressed crowds at an event in Utrecht along with Pegida leaders, including founder Lutz Bachmann.
Dutch far-right leader Geert Wilders called the wave of refugees pushing into Europe an “Islamic invasion,” during a parliamentary debate on Thursday that exposed deep divisions over how the Netherlands should respond to the crisis.
Geert Wilders, Dutch politician and noted anti-Islamist, pulled no punches during his debate with Jyllands-Postens foreign affairs editor Flemming Rose at Folkemødet on Bornholm this afternoon.
Wilders – whose anti-Islamic stance has earned him a death threat from Feiz Mohammed, who called on Muslims around the world to behead the politician for “denigrating” the prophet – suggested that his “great friend” Rose was “living in a fantasy world” for believing that despite Islamic terrorism around the world, Muslims had a right to free speech, and for opposing Wilders’ call to ban the Koran in Europe.
Far-right European politicians, Golden Dawn from Greece and Geert Wilders from the Netherlands, are attending a festival (Folkemodet) on the Danish island of Bornholm on 11-14 June.
The open-air political festival features prime minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt as a main speaker as well as most of the government, opposition party leaders, business representatives, trade unions, media and cultural celebrities.
Next month’s People’s Meeting (Folkemødet) on Bornholm is shaping up to be a departure from the cozy and informal affair of years past thanks to an increased police presence and an appearance from Dutch politician Geert Wilders, who plans to deliver a speech critical of Islam.
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) is deeply distressed that two members of Congress are reportedly hosting anti-Muslim bigot Geert Wilders, leader of the xenophobic Freedom Party in the Netherlands, as a guest speaker later this week in Washington, D.C.
In a letter obtained by Foreign Policy, two Democratic members of Congress are urging President Barack Obama’s administration to ban a Dutch lawmaker from entry into the United States due to his controversial views on Islam.
The leader of Austria’s populist Freedom Party, Heinz-Christian Strache, has defended his invitation to the controversial Dutch politician Geert Wilders to speak in Vienna, saying that he is an “interesting European politician”.
Forgotten women: the impact of Islamophobia on Muslim women
ENAR’s project “Forgotten Women: the impact of Islamophobia on Muslim women” aims to
document the disproportionate impact of Islamophobia on women and to strengthen alliances
between the anti-racism and feminist movements in order to better address the intersectional
discrimination affecting Muslim women or those perceived as such. It has taken place between 2015
and 2016 in 8 countries, chosen to get a representative picture of the situation of Muslim women in
the European Union: Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Sweden and the
The aim of the report on the Netherlands is to gain insight into the unique experiences of Muslim
women with Islamophobia in the Netherlands, particularly in the context of employment and racist
speech and violence. Therefore the main questions that guide this report are:
1) What is the labour market position of Muslim women?
2) How does labour market discrimination affect Muslim women?
3) To what extent are Muslim women protected against labour market discrimination under
(inter)national legal provisions and through existing policies?
4) What are the recent developments in racist speech and violence against Muslims and how do
these affect Muslim women?
5) To what extent are Muslim women protected against racist speech and violence under
(inter)national legal provisions and through existing policies?
An estimated 80% of Muslims in the Netherlands have a Turkish, Moroccan, Afghani, Iraqi, Iranian or
Radical right-wing populist parties, such as Geert Wilders’ Party for Freedom, Marine Le Pen’s National Front or Nigel Farage’s UKIP, are becoming increasingly influential in Western European democracies. Their electoral support is growing, their impact on policy-making is substantial, and in recent years several radical right-wing populist parties have assumed office or supported minority governments.
Are these developments the cause and/or consequence of the mainstreaming of radical right-wing populist parties? Have radical right-wing populist parties expanded their issue profiles, moderated their policy positions, toned down their anti-establishment rhetoric and shed their extreme right reputations to attract more voters and/or become coalition partners? This timely book answers these questions on the basis of both comparative research and a wide range of case studies, covering Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, the Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.
Analysing the extent to which radical right-wing populist parties have become part of mainstream politics, as well as the factors and conditions which facilitate this trend, this book is essential reading for students and scholars working in European politics, in addition to anyone interested in party politics and current affairs more generally.
Dit rapport bevat een drietal studies naar de hiervoor genoemde vraagstelling, uitgevoerd door Nederlandse, Deense en Britse onderzoekers. De drie onderzoeksgroepen kozen elk een eigen accent. Het Nederlandse rapport focust vooral op de interacties tussen ouders en kinderen, het Deense rapport zoomt in op de ontwikkeling van jongeren en de manier waarop die wordt beïnvloed door personen en organisaties die de jongeren voor hun ideologie proberen te winnen, terwijl het Britse rapport het radicaliseringsproces situeert tegen de achtergrond van de sociale en politieke context. De interviews maken duidelijk dat er geen lineair pad loopt van bepaalde gezinstypen of opvoedingspraktijken naar radicalisering. In een enkel geval slechts wijzen de geïnterviewden het gezin aan als de belangrijkste bron van radicalisering en deradicalisering. Wat dat laatste betreft: eigen keuze (‘agency’), gevangenisstraf en studie werden daartoe als belangrijkste aanleiding gezien. Het feit dat het gezin door vrijwel niemand als directe oorzaak van radicalisering werd genoemd neemt niet weg dat in veel gesprekken melding werd gemaakt van allerlei problemen die zich in de gezinssfeer afspeelden. In ongeveer twee derde van de gezinnen was sprake van scheiding, een afwezige vader, gebrek aan emotionele steun, psychiatrische problematiek, ziekte of dood; in een aantal gezinnen was sprake van geweld en mishandeling. We concluderen dat dergelijke omstandigheden het radicaliseringsproces op zichzelf niet verklaren, maar daar wel een vruchtbare grond voor kunnen vormen. De woede die jongeren bijvoorbeeld kunnen voelen over de rol die hun (afwezige) vader in de opvoeding speelde –of juist niet speelde- kan hen extra gevoelig maken voor recrutering door extremistische organisaties. Maar het lijkt erop dat er ook altijd andere factoren in het spel moeten zijn, zoals het gevoel van vernedering of teleurstelling in de instituties van de samenleving. Ofschoon elk van de verhalen die in dit project zijn opgetekend uniek is, juist in het complexe samenspel van factoren en omstandigheden, tekenen zich toch een paar routes náár en ván radicalisering af die gemeenschappelijke elementen bevatten. In dit rapport worden deze routes ideaaltypische ‘journey’s’ genoemd, een serie transities die jongeren doorlopen in hun ontwikkeling van kind naar volwassenheid waarbij doorgaans heel wat navigatie-hulp vereist is. Deze journey’s moeten niet gezien worden als vaste patronen waar elke radicale jongere per definitie in past, maar als een poging tot ordening van de complexe werkelijkheid die voor elke jongere weer anders in elkaar zit.
Edited by Philomena Essed and Isabel Hoving
Dutch Racism is the first comprehensive study of its kind. The approach is unique, not comparative but relational, in unraveling the legacy of racism in the Netherlands and the (former) colonies. Authors contribute to identifying the complex ways in which racism operates in and beyond the national borders, shaped by European and global influences, and intersecting with other systems of domination. Contrary to common sense beliefs it appears that old-fashioned biological notions of “race” never disappeared. At the same time the Netherlands echoes, if not leads, a wider European trend, where offensive statements about Muslims are an everyday phenomenon. Dutch Racism challenges readers to question what happens when the moral rejection of racism looses ground.
The volume captures the layered nature of Dutch racism through a plurality of registers, methods, and disciplinary approaches: from sociology and history to literary analysis, art history and psychoanalysis, all different elements competing for relevance, truth value, and explanatory power. This range of voices and visions offers illuminating insights in the two closely related questions that organize this book: what factors contribute to the complexity of Dutch racism? And why is the concept of racism so intensely contested? The volume will speak to audiences across the humanities and social sciences and can be used as textbook in undergraduate as well as graduate courses.
It is hard to open a newspaper nowadays without being confronted by populism. In relation to the European Parliament elections in May 2014, it is reasonable to write a few words about populist parties in Europe and take a deeper look at their historical backgrounds. The influence of populist parties is growing. They are mobilising the masses who are concerned about the European financial and fiscal crisis, which has created insecurity and doubt about the existing political systems and social organizations. These are usually presented as corrupted and elitist without any sense to listen to the wishes of the common people. The EU is seen as an open window for immigrants who are threatening national cultures and safety. The most important point was balancing the literature; some authors see populists as a threat to democratic states and others describe them as a challenge to the existing political structures and systems. Here, the focus is on relevant, actively participating, populist political parties that are involved in political developments and events in selected countries: France-National Front, Netherlands-Party for Freedom and Socialist Party, United Kingdom-UK Independence Party, Sweden-Sweden Democrats, Finland-The Finns, Denmark-Danish People’s Party and Norway-Progress Party.
For the period of 2013 no attacks classified as right-wing terrorism were reported by European Union (EU) Member States. However, a series of terrorist attacks in the UK were motivated by right-wing extremist ideology. Between April and July 2013, a Ukrainian national carried out four terrorist attacks. The offender stabbed to death an elderly Muslim male and detonated three improvised explosive devices (IEDs) at mosques in the West Midlands area. The campaign started within a few days of the individual’s arrival in the UK in April 2013. Subsequent enquiries uncovered no links to other right-wing extremist groups or individuals based in the UK; he arrived in the UK already radicalised.
The Netherlands reported that more and more issues that were traditionally left-wing activist activities have been adopted by right-wing activists. As well as anti-capitalism, anti-globalism and animal rights, right-wing extremists have now also engaged in campaigning against genetically modified food.
This paper has been prepared by the Institute for Strategic Dialogue as a background briefing for the European Policy Planners’ Network on Countering Polarisation and Radicalisation (PPN). It aims to provide an overview of recent developments in far-right extremism across Europe, highlight case studies of projects seeking to combat this threat, and offer practical lessons learned for policy makers and frontline workers.
In the Netherlands, between 2009 and 2013 prejudice, anti-establishment attitudes and rightwing
value orientation, all increased, but only marginally. We don’t know yet how much PVV can
capitalize on this, as the exit polls suggests worse performance than previously expected.
In this collection, senior experts explore all aspects of extreme right wing political violence, from the nature of the threat, processes of engagement, and ideology to the lessons that can be drawn from exiting such engagement. Further, right wing activism and political violence are compared with Jihadi violence and engagement. Also, the European experience is placed within a greater framework, including that of the United States and the Arab Spring.
The book opens with an essay on U.S. far right groups, investigating their origins and processes of recruitment. It then delves into violence against UK Mosques and Islamic centers, the relationship between Ulster loyalism and far right extremism, the Dutch extremist landscape, and the July 2011 Norway attacks. Also discussed are how narratives of violence are built and justified, at what point do individuals join into violence, and how differently states respond to left-wing vs. right-wing extremism.
This comparative work offers a unique look into the very nature of right wing extremism and will be a must-read for anyone studying political violence and terrorism.
The European financial and—partly stemming from this—fiscal crisis is the most severe economic crisis to have occurred since the 1920s. As with every crisis of such dimensions, it has created insecurity and doubt about the existing political systems and institutional arrangements. These concerns are being exploited by nationalistic parties and the virulent media, and are solely focused on the national political arena. National selfinterest and prejudices against European neighbours and fellow European citizens are increasing: southern Europeans are portrayed as averse to work and unwilling to reform, northern Europeans as lacking solidarity. Abusive comparisons with Fascism have even been made.
The boost to populist parties and the receptivity of the public to their messages have been facilitated by the current crisis. The magnitude of the electoral gains that populist parties have been able to acquire due to their anti-European slogans and programmes is surprising and worrying. They succeed by delivering apparently straightforward solutions, which are often derived from national interest, to what are actually complex political problems—solutions that have persuasive power amongst a broad audience. This kind of nationalist and anti-European rhetoric endangers not only economic prosperity, but also democracy.
Issues of immigration and the integration of foreigners have become topics of heated debate in the public and political arena in modern European democracies. According to Koopmans and colleagues (2005: 3) ‘immigration and ethnic relations (…) constitute since the early 1990s the most prominent and controversial fields of political contention in West European polities’. Parallel to this development, support for anti-immigration parties has increased in several Western European countries. Examples are the French National Front, the Austrian Freedom Party and the Flemish Bloc (since 2004 Flemish Interest) in Belgium. The Netherlands is an interesting case in the European context, because the right-wing populist challenge was rather ‘slow in coming’ (Kriesi et al. 2006: 163). A significant electoral performance of the far-right did not take place until 2002 and it had also failed to make any significant impact on the public debate until relatively recently. The Netherlands was therefore for long considered a ‘deviant case’ (Rydgren and Van Holsteyn 2004), just like for example Sweden, as the country met most conditions that according to established theories explain the emergence of far-right parties elsewhere, but these parties still remained relatively unsuccessful.
The tragic attacks in Norway on 22 July 2011
drew Europe’s gaze to the potential dangers of
the radical right’s growing presence across the
continent, and the increasing legitimisation of
anti-immigration and anti-Islam discourses
within mainstream European politics.
Considered alongside other recent violence in
Germany and Italy, the attacks challenged the
idea that extremism from the right is only a
minor security threat. The pan-European
successes of radical right parties, pervasive harsh
language and violence towards immigrants and
growing transnational networks of right-wing
extremists indicate the increasing need for fresh
analysis and innovative responses on these
issues. There remains, however, a blurred
relationship between violence from the extreme
right and broader trends of Islamophobia and
radical right politics.
The report covers the right-wing political parties, who are increasingly using anti-Muslim rhetoric to garner votes. It explores the websites and bloggers who propagate scare stories about Islam. It covers the street gangs, like the English Defence League (EDL), and the like-minded groups they inspire around Europe. It investigates the funders and the foundations which bankroll parts of the movement. Perhaps controversially, it also includes some commentators whose insensible stridency, combined with a degree of credibility within mainstream opinion, help feed the climate of anti-Muslim hatred. Of particular interest, it reveals some inter-connections between the different strands of this movement.
The investigation into the extreme
right-wing movement and right-wing
extremist movement in the Netherlands is
the longest running investigation by the
AIVD and its predecessors. In this publication
the AIVD presents the current state of
affairs in the Netherlands based on the
results of that investigation.
The AIVD investigation shows that the
threat of right-wing extremism and the
extreme right to the democratic legal order
in the Netherlands is minimal. The
movement is characterised by a small
following, mutual disagreement and
personal animosity, ideologically different
views and organisational fragmentation.
Nonetheless, the threat attributed to
right-wing extremism and the extreme right
is often much more significant. A gap exists
between the actual threat and the perceived
Lees verder in de publicatie
This article examines the language of the Dutch politician Geert Wilders and his anti-immigrant Party for freedom (PVV) against the yardstick of “extreme right”. Should we consider Wilders who is charged because of hatred against Muslims as a populist or rather an extreme-rightist? The core question of the article is
addressed in a theory section on populism, right-extremism and its (metaphor) style, and an empirical section that tracks the political style and thematic choice of Wilders. The empirical case concerning language use of Geert Wilders includes a metaphor analysis using a metaphor index that is a quantitative view of the
metaphorical power of a text (De Landtsheer 2009).
Over the last decade, populist parties have been growing in strength across Western Europe. These parties are defined by their opposition to immigration and concern for protecting national and European culture, sometimes using the language of human rights and freedom. On economic policy, they are often critical of globalisation and the effects of international capitalism on workers’ rights. This is combined with ‘antiestablishment’ rhetoric and language. Often called ‘populist extremist parties’ or ‘the new right’, these parties do not fit easily into the traditional political divides. Their growth over the past decade has been remarkable. Formerly on the political fringes, these parties now command significant political weight in the parliaments of Austria, Bulgaria, Denmark, Hungary, the Netherlands, Sweden, Latvia and Slovakia, as well as the European Parliament. In some countries, they are the second or third largest party and are seen as necessary members of many conservative coalition governments.
The growth of these movements is mirrored online. Populist parties are adept at using social media to amplify their message, recruit and organise. Indeed, the online social media following on Facebook and elsewhere for many of these groups often dwarfs their formal membership, consisting of tens of thousands of sympathisers and supporters.
In the public discourse dominating the Netherlands after 1945, anti-Semitism and racism – two of the basic elements of (“classical”) right-wing extremism – have tended to be seen as uncharacteristic of Dutch society.1According to many experts, this is attributed to Dutch experiences in the Second World War, as the Netherlands saw the largest percentage of national Jewish populations in Europe killed, after Poland. A guilt complex related to Dutch behaviour during the War has led to what is often called “the basic consensus” on what is “bad” and “good” in Dutch society.
Imagine a pamphlet announcing that the “Muslim Fifth Column is taking over Europe. We will soon be living in Eurabia under sharia law.” Or imagine a pamphlet saying that the “world conspiracy of Jews, this dirty vermin that keeps on returning to pollute our societies, has taken control of the banks and industry again.” In the Netherlands, both pamphlets would provoke public outcry against the authors, since the year is 1989 and we have just stepped out of our time machine to witness the ensuing protest marches and the imminent arrest of the neo-Nazis who distributed these pamphlets. Those were the good old days when the extreme right was small, when mainstream racism and anti-Semitism did not openly exist, and any word or sign of discrimination was immediately attacked by anti-racists, anti-fascist groups and all loyal democrats. In those days, support for the rights of economic immigrants, or guest workers, as they were called back then, was the norm and not the exception. In Western Europe everybody on the left side of the political spectrum had faith in a future of equality and freedom from discrimination, while those on the right who kept silent were branded as racists, or at least apologists. During the 1980s, anti-racist and anti-fascist groups built up considerable popular support, to the extent that anti-racism in the Netherlands became the norm and any dissenting voice was immediately labelled racist or fascist.
This article presents an agency-based approach to the success of radical right-wing populist parties. It posits that radical right parties will only experience sustained electoral success when they are built prior to their electoral breakthrough and when they institutionalise rapidly. The process of institutionalisation will progress more quickly when radical right parties have a leader with strong internal leadership qualities and when sufficient attention is paid to the recruitment, training and socialisation of candidates. The argument is illustrated through a comparison between two Dutch radical right parties: the Lijst Pim Fortuyn (LPF) and the Partij Voor de Vrijheid (PVV). The two cases offer a compelling example of learning effects in politics: Geert Wilders (PVV) observed the collapse of the LPF and has avoided making the same mistakes.
Radical right-wing populist parties have incessantly increased their presence in Western Europe since the early-1980s. The number of countries in which radical right-wing populist parties compete in elections has grown, as has the number of countries where these parties manage to pass the electoral threshold and enter parliament. In addition to well-known radical right-wing populist parties like the French National Front (Front National, or FN) or the Austrian Freedom Party (Freiheitliche Partei Österreichs, or FPÖ), the rise of a multitude of lesser known radical right-wing populist parties like the Danish People’s Party (Dansk Folkeparti, or DF), the List Pim Fortuyn (Lijst Pim Fortuyn, or LPF), or New Democracy (Ny Demokrati, ND) has characterized West European politics since the late-1980s. More importantly, the electoral success of these parties has grown exponentially.
In the course of the last two decades, right-wing populist parties have gained sizable vote shares in France, Switzerland, and Austria. In the Netherlands, Pim Fortuyn has succeeded in breaking into a party system whose segmentation and “pillarization” once made it an example of stability. Throughout much of the post-war period, Switzerland and Austria had also been marked by a high stability of the party alternatives. In these countries, as well as in Denmark, Norway, Italy, and Belgium, the success of new parties of the right has largely surpassed that of older parties of the extreme right, which seemed to have represented a “normal pathology” resulting from tensions created by rapid change in industrial societies (Scheuch, Klingemann 1967). Certainly, the optimism of the “golden age” of growth after World War II has given way to more gloomy feelings of malaise in the era of unemployment and austerity politics. The enduring success of right-wing populist parties, however, as well as the increasing similarity of their discourse suggest that they are more than a populist outbreak of disenchantment with electoral politics. Rather, it has become apparent that a common potential must underlie their rise.
Our primary aim is to extend and revise SRG’s findings on the association between politics and anti-foreigner sentiment. While their research suggests that the prevalence of ERP support is associated with higher anti-foreign er sentiment, our research shows that this is only the case for those ERPs that promote cultural racism. The more prevalent cultural racism, the more these parties and the ideologies they espouse become part of the normal political landscape (Van Der Brug and Fennema 2003).
The extraordinary and highly consequential electoral successes of radical right parties in Western Europe in the last couple of decades are well documented. The evidence on how these parties’ successes are associated with their anti-immigrant appeals invites the conclusion that such appeals are an easy way to electoral success for minor parties willing to exploit this issue. This paper argues that this is not so, since it is nearly impossible for minor parties to make credible appeals to voters on the immigration issue unless they have reputational shields—a legacy that can be used to fend off accusations of racism and extremism. Not many minor parties deciding to run on the anti-immigrant ticket, it turns out, have such reputational shields. This paper presents newly collected evidence to show that six out of seven anti-immigrant parties failed to achieve sustained electoral success in a period when Europe was in an immigration crisis.
This paper seeks to explain the variation in the success of radical right political parties across ten European political systems over the last several decades. I argue that such parties succeed over the long term only when they both 1) build on pre-existing nationalist organizations and networks and 2) face a permissive rather than repressive political environment. These hypotheses are tested on the cases of Denmark, France, Italy and Sweden. By adding factors such as historical legacies, party organization, and interactions between mainstream parties and far right challengers to the study of radical right parties, we can better understand their divergent trajectories. Ideas about the legitimacy of the radical right also influence the reaction of mainstream challengers to them, and represent a promising topic for future research.
The question as to why extreme right-wing parties have become so popular in some countries of the European Union, whereas in other countries these parties have only enjoyed modest success or even none at all, has often been raised. In the late 1990s, this question grew in significance as differences between Western European countries as to the level of support for extreme right-wing parties have become larger.
The case studies show that only few parties meet the criteria of the aristotelian definition of political extremism, in the German Federal Republic and the Netherlands at the turn of the century. Socio-economic and cultural extremism seem slightly more common. According to our definition, political extremists strive for a more purely aristocratic, monarchic or democratic regime. As democracy has been sanctified in two world wars, nowadays hardly any party dares to attack it openly.
With extreme right parties in government in Austria and Italy, and Jean-Marie Le Pen contesting the run-off in the 2002 presidential elections in France, few people will dispute their continuing relevance in the politics of Western Europe. Indeed, ever since the first small electoral successes of parties like the Centrumpartij in the Netherlands or the Front National in France in the early 1980s, the extreme right has been the most discussed group of parties both in and outside of the scholarly community. Thousands of newspaper articles and hundreds of pieces of scholarly work have been devoted to extreme right parties, predominantly describing their history, leaders or electoral successes, as well as proclaiming their danger. Remarkably little serious attention has been devoted to their ideology, however. This aspect of the extreme right has been considered to be known to everyone. The few scholars that did devote attention to the ideology of the contemporary extreme right parties have primarily been concerned with pointing out similarities with the fascist and National Socialist ideologies of the pre-war period. If the similarities were not found, this was often taken as ‘proof ’ that the extreme right hides its (true) ideologies, rather than as a motivation to look in a different direction.
The Extreme Right has always been weak and fragmented in the Netherlands. It lacked an
ideological tradition as well as a solid social base. A landowning aristocracy no longer played
a significant role in Dutch politics in the nineteenth century – power had shifted to a patrician
bourgeoisie already in the Dutch Republic (1588-1795). Moreover, the Dutch did not have to
deal with a national question that could have given rise to a nationalist movement with
extremist tendencies. It is true, reactionary anti-democratic forces did emerge in the late
nineteenth century, but they were divided between Liberal, Catholic and Calvinist parties.
Only has survived until today, the Reformed State Party (Staatkundig Gereformeerde Partij ,
SGP). This party has come to accept democracy in practice, but not in theory. It would like to
replace universal suffrage by ‘organic suffrage’, i.e. give the right to vote only to (male)
heads of households.3 However, it is not a nationalist, racist or xenophobic party.4 Since 1925
it has occupied two or three seats in parliament.
In this article we address the question whether or not the votes for anti-immigrant parties can be considered as protest votes. We define protest votes by the motives underlying electoral choices, building on earlier research done by Tillie (1995) and Van der Eijk & Franklin (1996). That research showed that ideological proximity and party size are the best predictors of party preference. On this basis we designed a typology of motives for party choice and how these motives would manifest themselves empirically. Analyzing the 1994 elections for the European Parliament for seven political systems we show that anti-immigrant parties attract no more protest votes than other parties do, with only one exception: the Dutch Centrumdemocraten.
Once thought to represent a set of cleavages established in the 1920s, West
European party systems recently have undergone important changes.’ Beginning in
the 1970s, left-libertariane cological parties captureds mall but significant shares of
the vote in many countries and helped to define a new dimension of conflict in many
party systems. More recently, far right-wing parties have gained dramatically, taking
votes from established parties and pressing their issues onto political agendas.
Today the most successful of these parties are the Front National in France and the
Freedom Party in Austria, but Denmark, Norway, Italy, Belgium, Germany, and
Sweden have also seen important challenges by far-right parties. Despite important
differences among them, these parties’ positions put them on what is commonly
understood as the far right of the political spectrum. Much more than established
parties, they favor law and order, tax cuts, and limits on immigration and oppose
policies favored by social democratic parties (social equality, economic regulation)
and by left-libertarian and ecological parties (a multicultural society, women’s
equality, environmental protection).
Lees verder in het document
The Dutch party system has always been fragmented and rich in variety. The
Extreme Right has suffered from fragmentation and pillarization, too. Though
it has gained some ground in recent years, it seems still weak in comparison
with its German, French or Italian counterparts. When discussing its prospects
for the future, we must distinguish between the three varieties of right-wing
extremism th at exist in the Netherlands at present: