Why Right‐Leaning Populism Has Grown in the Most Advanced Liberal Democracies of Europe – The Political Quarterly – article

Why Right‐Leaning Populism Has Grown in the Most Advanced Liberal Democracies of Europe

Jan Erik Grindheim | The Political Quarterly

2019-10-22

Immigration and new class divisions, combined with a growing anti‐elitism and political correctness, are often used as explanations for the strong gains for right‐leaning populist parties in national elections across Europe in recent years. But contrary to what we might assume, such parties have been very successful in the most developed and comprehensive welfare states, in nations—such as the Nordic countries—with the best scores on economic equality and social inclusion and long established political and judicial institutions enjoying a high degree of popular legitimacy. As argued in this article, this seems to happen because a duopoly of the centre‐left and centre‐right political establishment has kept issues such as immigration and new class divisions off the public agenda and hence paved the way for right‐leaning ‘disruptor’ populist parties with an anti‐immigration agenda in times of increasing immigration.

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