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NEO-POPULIST PARTY APPEAL AND REALIGNMENT: THE EMERGENCE OF A NEW POLITICS CLEAVAGE? by EROL FAIZ KAYMAK, B.A., M.A. A DISSERTATION IN POLITICAL SCIENCE Submitted to the Graduate Faculty of Texas Tech University in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY Approved


May, 1999


I would like to acknowledge the help of people who either directly or indirectl> contributed to the writing of this dissertation. I express gratitude to Dr. Lawrence C. Mayer, who served as the chairperson on my dissertation committee. This dissertation's origins can be traced to a course I took in West European politics, when Dr. Mayer encouraged me to pursue the topic, and e^qpressed confidence in my capabilities. Our subsequent professional relationship led to some promising collaborative research, and perhaps more importantly to a social relationship that I value. Dr. Mayer's insights, knowledge, constructive criticisms, and guidance have been invaluable in the dissertation writing process. The rest of the dissertation committee members also deserve acknowledgment. Many of my ideas and theoretical approaches in the dissertation derive from courses I took under the tutelage of Dr. Aie-Rie Lee whose expertise in comparative survey data research is considerable. Dr. Lee is very keen on conceptual clarity and methodological rigor. Dr. Lee's welcome scrutiny enhanced and refined the dissertation. I would like to thank Dr. Craig Emmert who was most forthcoming, gregarious, and helpflil throughout the writing process. Dr. Emmert's expertise in logistic regression techniques and advice on presentation is more appreciated. Dr. John Tuman has sensitized me to the methodological plurality in comparative politics, and thus helped me appreciate the trade ofiFin choosing one approach over another in our comparative zeal for generalizability. His concem for empiricism and thus


for assertions on causality augment my understanding of the comparativ e method and the strengths and limitations of my dissertation. I would like to thank my parents and sister who believed in me, as well as my brother wiio inspired me. Finally. I acknowledge my wife, Beniz Uluer Kaymak, vAio v\as loxing. compassionate, understanding and supportive throughout the wTÍting process.
















Cross-National Explanations . The Extremist-Continuity School Neo-fascism Extremism: Ignazi's ERPs Critique New Politics . . . . Culture Shift and Value Cleavages New Social Movements and the New Politics Minkenberg's New Right Critique Dealignment and Protest Voting Critique Neo-Populism. Defining Populism Post-Industrial Neo-Populism The Neo-Populist Context NPPs . Accounting for Successes and Failures Factors Explaining Partisan Choice . Critique . . . . Summary of Cross-national Perspectives in.

10 11

16 17 25 26 28 29

31 35 36 37 40 41 43 52 57 67 79 82



Modeling Success





Cases .


Comparing Cases by Factors . Success and Strateg> . Structure NPP divisions . Links to Fascism Legacy of Fascism Stability of Alignments Barriers to Access Intra-elite Conflict NPP Competition Responses of Other Parties Individual Case Studies by Factors Canada's Reform Party France's National Front Germany's Republicans Itaiys Northem League Nor\va\ 's Progress Part\ Conclusions IV.

94 96 98 98 100 101 101 103 104 105 106 107 107 124 140 155 171 181



Modeling Appeal


NPP Realignments




Data Sources


Variables and Model Specific Hypotheses


Dependent Variables . . . . Independent Variables NPP Model Variables. Economic Insecurities Model Variables Extremism Model Variables . New Politics Model Variables Old Politics Model Variables . Methods

192 194 195 199 200 202 205 208


Data Analysis .





NPP-Old Right Models NPP-Old Left Models Conclusions












209 .


209 226





ImpUcations of the Findings .






Limitations and Analysis for Subsequent Research .





















The emergence of right-wing populist parties in many countries of the industrialized world seems to hark back to the rise of fascists of the 1920s and I930s. The economic and social dislocations of the past two decades have witnessed an upsurge of right-wing populist parties. Most studies focus on the alleged parallels between fascism and the new movements. This dissertation posits an altemative classification for the current crop of rightwing populist parties. Instead of emphasizing the continuities with past movements. this dissertation asserts that there are significant difiFerences. Old extreme right parties were authoritarian and exalted the state. Neo-populist parties accept the existing democratic order. Hostility to govemment, rather than its exahation, is their hallmark. Some neo-populist parties ha\ e been very successful at exploiting resentment among a growing number of dealigned voters. What differentiates neo-popuUst parties from their supposed forerunners is their distinct ability to mobilize this resentment. Unlike neo-fascist parties. successíul neo-populist parties appeal to heterogeneous groups. A populist style, including the scapegoating common enemies, real or imaginar\. helps keep the disparate coalitions together. The organizational attributes of successfiil neo-populist parties, centralized authority and charismatic leadership, not only distinguishes neo-populist parties as a unique party type. but also accounts for their success and appeal.


Several representative case studies, including successfiil and unsuccessfiil neopopulist parties, tend to support the argument. Organizational d^Tiamics seem to be important factors explaining successes and failures. Successfiil neo-populist parties should appeal to people who exhibit populist sentiments, measured in terms of issues and resentment predispositions, rather than to extremists who tend to be ideological. racist, and authoritarian. Logistic regression models tend to confirm this expectation. Neo-populist issues and predispositions tend to be good predictors of neo-populist party support.




List of Neo-Populist and Extreme Right Parties




Summary of Ideal Type Relations Between Theoretical School, Main Term Used, Ideology and Foes . . . . .


Northem League versus MSI supporter's self-placement % on Left-Right Scale



Percentage ofVotersthat areRight-of-Centerby Party



Percentage of Party Supporters that Mention Immigrants As Undesirable Neighbors . . . . .



2.7 2.8








Progressive Conservatives versus Reform Supporters' % on Post-materialism Values Index . . . . .


Materialism-Postmaterialism % Among Respective Party Supporters in Canada, France, Germany, Italy. and Norway.


Unemployment, Service Sector as % of GDP, GDP per head, And Purchasing Power Parity per head as of 1998 . . .


Levels of Success and Intemal and Extemal Factors for Various NPPs . . . . . . .



NPP-Old Right Model for Canada. France, Germany, Italy, And Norway Neo-Populist Vote


NPP-New Left Logistic Regression Model for France, German\. And Italy Neo-PopuUst Vote .




Stable democratic industrial societies present us with a few paradoxes. One is a downward trend in trust in govemment despite economic prosperity. Not surprisingly, political deahgnment and lower voter tumout has been a corollary trend. Scholars met the rise of issue voting and the nascent Green parties enthusiastically as evidence of a healthy emerging participatory political culture, especially among younger cohorts. On the other hand, a less welcome change had become clearer towards the end of the 20* century. A number of small parties, often labeled far right, or extreme right, also emerged from the process of dealignment. How is it that these parties emerge in the same context of that the greens do? The fascist experience of the inter-War years is. after all, often attributed to "authoritarian reflexes" common in secularized, yet disintegrating societies (e.g., Inglehart 1997, p. 218). If mtergenerational value change matters, by all accounts, we should have anticipated the declining salience of the "far right," not an increase in electoral appeal. Some scholars reasoned that the new parties were reminiscent of the fascist parties of the inter-War period, decades earlier. Unfortunately they generally could not offêr an explanation as to why the parties of this so-called "third wave" of extremism, beginnmg in the late 1970s, were more successfiil than the neo-fascist parties of the postWar years. This extremism perspective holds that an anti-democratic, anti-systemic

ideology defines the essence of the new parties. and that support is based on xenophobia and racism. Other scholars suggested that the New Right parties manifested an authoritarian backlash against post-industrial society, especially against the New Left agenda. This backlash thesis remains the dominant e?q)lanation. Coupled with growing unemployment in various West European countries, the increase in immigrants has become a rallying point for opponents of the New Left. Unfortunately these explanations leave some important questions unanswered. Wh} do extremist, anti-systemic partiesfårebetter in the 1990s than in the 1960s? If post-material values are increasingly difRise among younger cohorts, how do we e?q)lain the increasing electoral success of extremerightparties that supposedly appeal to "materialists" or those with "authoritarian" taidencies? Materialists and authoritarians are supposedly more deferential and less participatory - if by this we mean engagement in political activities other than \'oting than the predominantly post-materialist, libertarian New Left cohorts. Materialists and authoritarians are supposed to be less cognitively mobilized. and less interested in poHtics, but if so, how is it that traditionalright-wingand left-wing parties ha\ e lost voters to this New Right? Protest politics, and issue mobilization was supposed to be the domain of the cognitively mobilized, and participatory New Left. This thesis puts forth the concept of neo-populism as an ahemative cross-national explanation of the relative success and appeal of the so-called "thnd wave" of extreme right parties. Other cross-national explanations, mcluding the extremism perspective. and

New Politics theory generally fail to explain why these ne\v parties ha\ e been more successftil than their supposed forerunners. This study focuses not only on ideolog\ or values, but also on political and economic factors. According to this thesis, generalK. the success of neo-populist parties can be attributed to the decline in the socioeconomic and sociopolitical "consensus" that was the hallmark of the post-War industrialized world, especiall} in West Europe. The general purpose of this paper is to argue that neo-popuUst parties (NPPs) are a new party type, just as New Left green parties are members of a distinct party type. The neo-populist model describes organizational and strategic features unique to NPPs. NPPs are organizational centralized and strategically versatile. Their general strateg\' is to mobilize resentment stemmingfromthe decline of the post-war socioeconomic and sociopolitical consensus. Therefore the\ are popuUst parties. but dubbed neo-popuhst because of the specific post-industrial context. PopuHsm is not so much an ideolog>' as a style, since populists issues tend to be defined more by that oppose than what they stand for. Successfiil NPPs are those that mobilize resentment on salient issues while maintaining heterogeneous support. Much of the hterature review is committed to assessing the assertion that NPPs are indeed unique parties, differentiated from neofascist particularly and even extremist parties. Further, the piupose here is to demonstrate that farfromreacting to the agenda of other parties, the successful NPP is an agenda setter. The more specific purpose of this thesis is to test the neo-populist model against rival explanations. We address two general questions. First. does the neo-populist model

provide for better predictions of successes versus failures? Second. do neo-popuhst issues and predisposhions better predict the appeal of NPPs than extremism. authoritarianism, or materiaUsm? In order to answer these separate questions two types of analysis are employed. To answer the former question I utilize case study analysis. Although not based upon a most-similar or dissimiJar design, cases are nevertheless selected on the basis that they represent a particular angle of the neo-populist model. The case studies should provide insight into the factorsthat predict success and failure, defined as longevity and electoral significance. The latter question is assessed through the analysis of attitudinal dispositions as measured in secondary data sets. The micro-level analysis is designed to tap into measures representative of respective cross-national explanations. The general hypothesis is that successful NPPs should be distinguished by their neo-popuhst appeal. Unsuccessful NPPs, forced to compete for the loyalty of extremists, are likely to be characterized by an extremist and authoritarian appeal. The thesis concludes with a summary and conclusion based upon the analysis. Following an assessment of the likely contributions of the analysis. some self-critical comments highlight specific weaknesses in the study and identify new avenues of research on the topic.


The longevity and relative success of neo-popuUst parties (NPPs) calls for a crossnational explanation. The 1980s ushered m the so-caUed "third wave" of extreme right parties. The first wave of the extremerightor fascism refers to the rise of fascist movements and parties beginning around 1914. as weU as the rise of Mussolmi's Fascist regime in 1925. and culminating in 1945. The second wave refers to a number of postWar fascist parties, mcludmg the MSI of Italy. The third wave begins in the late 1970s. but might have its origins in a counter-eUte movement resenting the events associated with 1968. Unlike the post-war neo-fascist parties and the short-Uved Poujadist (petit bourgeoisie) movement in France these new parties of the aUeged "third wa\ e" ha\ e. in some cases, achieved remarkable and sustained electoral success. Further. the new parties exercise much influence over the poUtical agenda, seizing the opportunit\ to poUticize divisive topics such as immigration. That is, they help shape the political agenda. The agendas of neo-fascists never manifested in broader poUtical dialogue. Finally, these new parties have mushroomed. popping up almost everywhere (Table 2.1). They are evident not only m Italy or Germany, both countries with fascist pasts. but also in Scandinavia. North America, AustraUa and New Zealand. A common fret is that we know wiio they are, even if we do not know what they are (von Beyme 1988).

Table 2.1: List of Neo-Populist and Extreme Right Parties Country

Austria Austraha Belgium Caiiada

Denmark France Germany Greece Italy Luxembourg Netherlands

New Zealand Norway Portugal Spain Sweden Switzerland



FPO (Freedom Party of Austria) ON (One Naíion) FNB (Belgian National Front) VB (Flemish Bloc) Reform (Reform Party) FDP (Progress Party) AP (Popular Alliance) NF (National Front) PFN (New Forces Party) DVU (German People's Party) NDP (German National Democrats) REP (Republicans) EPEN (Political Ethnic Union) AN (National Alliance) LN (Northem League) MSI-DN (Italian Social Movement) NB (National Movement) CP (Center Party) CD (Center Democraís) CPgô^CenterParty'Sô) NVU (Netherlands People's Union) NZF (New Zealand First) FPN (Progress Party) FN-NM (New Monarchy) PDC (Christian Democraíic Party) PSN (National Solidarity Party) FE (Spanish Phalanx) FN/FN(NewForce) UN (National Union) ND (New Democrats) Sd (Swedish Democrats) LT (Ticinesi League) NA (National Action) AP (Automobile Party) SD (Swiss Democrats) SRB (Swiss Republican Movement) FDU (Federal Democratic Union) BNP (British National Party) NF (National Front)

Source: Mudde, Cas "Defining the Extreme Right Party Family" West European Politics (1996), v 19, n2, p234

The question is what differentiates this latest episode of right-wing "extremism" from earUer periods? Why does Jean-Marie Le Pen's National Front of France attract 15% of the French electorate, whereas the Poujadist party. which Le Pen had also been afiBliated with, failed to make an impression? And are aU these parties properly understood as right-wing extremists? Some parties, notably the Northem League of Italy and the Reform Party of Canada seem to be a poor fít for the category, often classifíed as "popuUst" mstead. Yet, there seems to be a relationship between these parties and the får right. They aU emerge m an era of what has been termed post-industrial caphaUsm, and aU resent mainstream poUtical parties. Another question is what factors account for the variance in electoral success among parties of the "thnd wave"? In Austria, the Freedom Party (FPO) rivals the estabUshed right party, the OVP. In Canada the Reform Party has virtuaUy displaced the Progressive Conservatives, especiaUy m British Columbia. On the other hand, not all NPPs have fared so weU. The disparate extreme right parties in Germany have yet to make a significant electoral impact. In Sweden the Ny Demokrats (New Democrats Party) disappeared as quickly as it appeared. A cross-national explanation should be able to predict not only the relative electoral successes, but the failures as weU.

Cross-National Explanations There are several cross-national explanations, each with advantages and disadvantages. GeneraUy we can identify four perspectives, although not necessarily mutuaUy exclusive. These are the extremist/fascist (Marxist), the new poUtics (New

Right versus new social movements), the deaUgnment (issue voting). and the neopopuUst poUtics perspectives. This thesis argues that the neo-popuUsm explanation offers the best explanation of varying party successes, as well as electoral appeal. This chapter wiU proceed to outline the perspectives and provide critiques for each respectively. GeneraUy the extremism and Marxist perspectives are continuity theories. That is, they relate the ideology of the "third wave" parties to a fascist and/or extremist legacy. The new parties are thus labeled either neo-fascist or extreme right, depending upon the, emphasis on fascism or anti-systemic extremism. The new poUtics perspective contends that the continuity thesis is problematic, since the new parties are not anti-democratic or anti-systemic. This so-caUed New Right is the resuh of shifting aUgnments among the electorates of various post-industrial coimtries. As the old poUtics of capitaUsts versus labor decUnes, a new poUtics based on newer issues emerges. The New Right is conceptuaUzed as a neo-conservative, materiaUst backlash towards the New Left that emerged principaUy after the student led revolts of 1968. The neo-popuUst perspective also recognizes the secular change in poUtics. but considers the neo-popuUst parties to be opposed more broadly to the mainstream poUtical establishment than to the agenda of the New Left per se. Below I provide a table that summarizes each theoretical school (Table 2.2)..


Table 2.2: Sunmary of Ideal Typlcal Relatlon Between Theoretlcal School, Maln Tenn Used, Ideology itnd. Foes TheoreticíLl School 1- Contlnulty theses a.




Term Used neo-fasclsm


Ideologlcal Foes



extreme rlght


democratle partles

materlallst/ Heo-conservative

New Left parties


New Polltlcs

Hew Rlght



no term




no Ideology/ Issue voters anti-establishment/ 'vôlkisch''

no specific foes Political center/ old center right

The Extremist-Continuitv School The "extremist" school, an outgrowth of Marxist analysis of the fascist right. emphasizes the anti-systemic nature of "extreme right" parties. This conceptualization has a certam advantage, m that it puts the latest "wave" of parties m a historical context. On the other hand. scholars in this fíeld have to devise new conceptual tools to account for the duration and success of this latest wave. Some scholars attempt to differentiate "new extreme right" parties from the "old extreme right" parties on the basis of Umitmg minimum core criteria to a subset of neo-fascist criteria. Piero Ignazi, a leader of this approach, claims that "new" right parties are anti-systemic, but not necessarily fascist (1992). That is, they don't aUenate potential voters through ties to fascist organizations and ideologues. They break with the past, so to speak. Even neo-fascist parties, such as the former MSI of Italy, recognize the limitations of the neo-fascist legacy, and repackage themselves. For instance, the former MSI has been subsumed within the National AlUance (NA), an avowedly "democratic" party. More generaUy, though, a conscious effort is not made to differentiate between extremism and fascism The impUcation of this approach is that neo-fascism should be exposed for what it is. As such, much Marxist Uterature is dedicated to demonstrating the aUeged continuity between an older generation of fascists and the leadership of new poUtical movements and parties. Undoubtedly there is some truth to these aUegations. However, the focus on conspiratorial fascists, as such, tends to imdermine the objectivit> of such research. Further, it faUs to analyze the popular basis of support for neo-popuUst parties, since nobody has yet suggested that the voters themselves are fascistic.


Neo-fascism The Marxist fíxation on fascism dates back to the 3'^'^ Intemational of 1929 when fascism was defíned as "a violent, dictatorial agent of bourgeois capitaUsm" Thus, most Marxists set out to demonstrate continuity between aUegedly old and New Right parties and movements. ''Neo-fascism" includes support for capitaUsm, conservative moral values, anti-communism, and advocacy of violence. Geofifrey Harris (1994), m The Dark Side of Europe. highlights how Euro-centrist sentiment and "common market racism" are consistent with old fascist ideas. Fascism, unfortunately, is a poorly defíned concept in social science. Nevertheless, some scholars have tried to draw conceptual Unkages between the various fascist movements in the interwar period. Fascism, as an ideology. seems to refer to exaltation of the state, and is often seen as an authoritarian reactionary movement of the middle classes against communism and the perception of a failed Uberalism. This extremism of the center thesis, often associated with Seymour Lipset (1960) has given way to newer perspectives that tend to emphasize the "palingenetic myths," thus an antirational poUtical ideology (Griffin 1995). These myths tend to revolve around a basic theme of decay and regeneration. This organic disposition towards nationalism in particular differentiates fascism from UberaUsm, since UberaUsm is resistant to cyclical theories. Fascism seems to appeal to individuals who are somehow convinced that they were fatefiiUy bora at a watershed between national decline and national regeneration. "a feeling that alchemically converted aU pessimism and culttu"al despair into a manic sense of piupose and optimism" (Griffin 1995, p, 3). Fascism, thus, might be thought of as


"revolutionary" rather than reactionary, advocating a "third way" between Marxism and capitaUsm. Fascism, though, is stiU defíned more byrtwhat h opposes than what h stands for. Fascism is anti-Uberal, anti-conservative, anti-rational. and racist. Fascism is also anti-Marxist, but hs corporatism means that h rejects Uberalism too. Ahhough associated with the nihiUsm of postmodemism, fascism might be thought of as "utopian" insofar as it envisions a homogeneous community. Let alone concurring on the fascist credentials of the parties of the "third wa\ e." scholars have disagreed about the aUeged "fascist" nature of any number of movements and parties of the "fírst wave." Whereas aU concur that Mussolmi's Italy was Fascist, the scholars have even differed on the fascist credentials of National Socialism in Germany! For some the Third Reich's racism and destmctiveness can only be treated as sui getieris. More often, though, the Nazi regime is regarded as a most extreme manifestation of fascism. Parties and movements of the "second wave" are usuaUy dubbed "neo-fascist." Neo-fascism refers to any number of ideologies that emerged in the post-War era that break from the "travesty" of Hitler's National SociaUsm, and try to resuscrtate non-Nazi fascism, otherwise known as the "Conservative Revolution" (Mohler 1950). This neofascist New Right tends to pay homage to the Ukes of Oswald Spengler, Carl Schmitt. Friedrich Nietzsche, Emst Jiinger, and Martin Heidegger. Some are foUowers of JuUus Evola whose version of neo-fascism has come to embody anti-Americanism and globalism m the form of Eurofascism. Some of the Evola foUowers are so-caUed Third Posrtionists, seekmg a "new order," rejectmg both communism and Uberal caprtaUsm. A


number of "metaphysical" oriented mteUectuals have buUt on these older thinkers. and pushed forth agendas for cuhural regeneration in Europe. Chief among the New Right mtellectuals is Alain de Benoist. Neo-fascism may also refer to the various efforts at historical revisionism designed to deny the Holocaust occurred (Christophersen 1984). or to deny that Hitler was dkectly responsible for the Fmal Solution (Irvmg 1977). This should not be confused, though, with academic efforts to "historicize" the Holocaust, known as the Historikerstreit where the likes of Emst Nohe and Jûrgen Habermas debated the role of Nazism in German history (Nolte 1987). Neo-føscist poUtical parties through the I970s were electoraUy marginal forces. The most noteworthy neo-fascist party is the Movimento Sociale Italiano (MSI). which was in direct line of descent from the Partito Fascista Repubblicano (the Fascist RepubUcan Party) estabUshed by MussoUni in 1943 as the core organization of the ItaUan Social Republic. In recent years, the MSI has been shedding the neo-fascist ideological baggage, as witnessed by Giofranco Fini's neo-Uberal oriented Alleanza Naziotiale. which has been electoraUy more viable. In West Germany the Nationaldemokratische Partei Deutschla íds (NDP) was widely consider a neo-fascist party. ahhough German laws forbade overt fascism/extremism. In Britain, John TyndaU's British National Part>. which has effectively replaced the National Front, is considered neo-fascist. Parties of the "thh-d wave," though, like the revamped MSI/AN, seem to be more difíîcuh to classify. This is because the new parties reject the term "fascist," which, m any case, has become a pejorative. Therefore scholars look to the sociopoUtical context in Ueu of overt ideological criteria. Some scholars have tried to relate the poUtical crises


of today to the Weimarian crises of the interwar period to draw parallels between the interwar period and today, desprte the apparent ideological discontinurty between old fascist parties and parties of the "thnd wave" (Golsan 1998). From this perspecti\ e, the poUtical disarray m Russia, the apparent stmctural economic crises m Europe as evidenced by a growing unemployment problem, the problems associated with integratmg immigrants in various industrialized democracies, and the release of ethnonationalist sentiment in Eastem Europe foUowing the end of the Cold War seem to hark back to a darker period m Europe's history. What is more, say the alarmists, extreme right-wmg parties have been on the rise. Notably Jean-Marie Le Pen's National Front m France has emerged as a genuine poUtical force, as have other parties in Italy (Giafranco Fini's Alleanza Nazionale), and Austria (Jorg Haider's Freedom Party). among those in Westem Europe. Similar movements and parties are also in evidence in Eastem Europe. The problem in relating the past to the present, as many scholars are aware, is that the new crop of aUegedly fascist parties differs from "classic" or historical fascism in a number of signifícant ways. Most important, the new parties do not espouse fascist solutions to societal problems. Some claim that the current resurgence is more of the same old fascism, notwithstanding the avowed democratic credentials of the new parties, simply repackaged for a contemporary electorate m the form of "designer fascism," entaUing sleazy, media-age demagoguery (Wolin 1998). Yet,rtis often acknowledged that the aUeged neo-fascism of the third wave seems to deviatefromhistorical fascism in an ideological sense. For one, it is not expansionist, and it is not antidemocratic or totaUtarian in its avowed aims (Payne 1995). Nevertheless, the debate as to whether


some of the high profíle leaders of these new parties, including France's Jean-Marie Le Pen or Austria's Jorg Haider, are neo-fascist or merely radical ultranationaUst has not been resolved. Those that argue that there is generally contmuity crte Haider's 1995 speech to former Waffen SS ofiBcers w^ere he refers to them as "decent people," among other comments, as weU as Haider's origins in a Nazi family that prospered under the "aryanization" of Jewish property. And ahhough Le Pen is not the son of Nazi parents, he has claimed among his fiiends Leon DegreUe, the former head of the Belgium Rexist movement. He has made thinly veiled anti-Semitic remarks, including his infamous quip that that the Holocaust was but a "minor detaU" in the history of World War II. Even if Le Pen cannot be impUcated as neo-fascist, certainly many of the party members of the French National Front have Vichy pasts and were involved in the slaughter of Resistance members. There area also members of the wartime fascist movement. the Rassemblement National Popiilaire. Whereas a focus on the personaUties associated with the membership of \'arious parties of the "third wave" tends to confírm a degree of continuity with the past. such a focus faUs to note change and the sociopoUtical and socioeconomic contexts within which these new parties operate. We are not experiencing a new Weimar era. unless we confíne that analogy to what may be occurring m East Europe. Therefore, a number of scholars in the extremist school have decidedly rejected the term "neo-fascist" in fa\ or of less pejorative concepts, such as extremism or radicaUsm, which might transcend historical fascism.


Extremism: Ignazi's ERPs The focus of extremist scholars is the impact of post-industrialization as an explanation for why these new parties are relatively stronger than parties of the second wave. Piero Ignazi is the pioneer m this avenue of research. Ignazi tries to classify what he terms extremerightparties (ERPs) on the basis of a minimum number of properties. For Ignazi's purposes ideology is preeminent, since a focus on organizational stmcture. leadership, or the electorate (often an American research agenda) reveals the dissimilarities at the expense of similarities (1997). So if we take Duverger's suggestion that there exists "familles spirituelles" we can approach the question vis-â-vis the avowed ideological disposition of the parties in question. Then one can integrate ideology with other variables, m this case the parties' ideological spatial location and attitude toward the system. Ignazi takes the position that at the core of the extremerightideology is fascism. Yet, Ignazi also hisists that we relate ideology to the spatial dimension. as weU as the role of particular parties in opposition. The operative question is when an opposition ceases to be democratic and becomes anti-democratic. Therefore the key difference between old extremerightparties and new extremerightparties is their respective references or lack thereof in that latter case to a fascist heritage. Only parties that fít the historic-ideological fascist criterion can be classifîed as neo-fascist. The rest only satisfy the systemic criterion, and may be dubbed a post-mdustrial extreme party type (post-industrial ERPs). By these criteria, the MSI (ItaUan Social Movement) of Italy, NPD (German National Democratic Party) of Germany, BNP (British National Party) of Britam, and CP'86


(Center Party '86) of the Netherlands are considered old tradrtional extreme right-wing parties. New, post-industrial ERPs, on the other hand, include the FPO (Freedom Party) of Austria; the VB (Flemish Bloc) and FNB (Belgian National Front) of Belgium; The FRPd (Progress Party) of Denmark; the FN (National Front) of France; the REP (Republicans) of Germany; the CD (Center Democrats) of the Netherlands; and the FRPn (Progress Party) of Norway. The new parties are a response to post-industrial society, where values and not just material interests matter. The failure of traditional parties to resolve the dUemmas associated with the growing value confUct resulted in the rise of an ecologist-Ubertarian left and an extreme right. Therefore, Ignazi's perspective overlaps with the New PoUtics perspective to be discussed later. These new ERPs, though, do not revive any "palingenetic" myth of fascism The defense of natural community (as expressed as racism and xenophobia) and irritation with democratic representative mechanisms and procedures, as weU as authoritarianism and adherence to strict moral standards serves as a coimterpart to post-material left-Ubertarianism

Critique Ahhough the extremist explanation provides for historical contmurty, hence dubbed a continuhy thesis, rt runs into some difficuhies. Fkst, scholars from the extremist perspective have a tendency of focusing on obscure and racist subgroups, aUegedly afifiUated with the extreme right movement. These scholars, often avowed opponents of the movement, feel compeUed to reveal that the democratic credentials of


new extreme right parties are actuaUy a fa^ade. Unfortimately, therefore, the focus is more on the underworld of extremism and less on the poUtical parties and their bases of electoral appeal. It fiirther tends to focus on the older membership of the new parties, at the expense of a focus on younger cohorts. It tends to downplay the signifícance of New Right ideology, insofar as it is constmed to be a clever repackaging of fascist ideology. Some scholars, such as Piero Ignazi, to their credrt, have given priority to the stmctural changes associated with post-industrial society as a corrective for these myopic tendencies in the extremism Uterature. Second. the historical continuity thesis faUs to explain how the 1980s differ from earUer periods wrth respect to the nascent electoral appeal of the "new" extreme parties. These are, for the most part, "new" parties. The older parties and movements, including the MSI and Poujadism, faUed to gamer support. The new parties attract voters of disparate ideological perspectives. That is, whereas supporters of neo-fascist parties identify themselves as bemg on the right of the ideological spectmm, the supporters of some of the new parties locate themselves closer to the center of the ideological spectmm This phenomenon can be gleaned from survey data, which reUabh demonstrates this tendency m a number of cases that are curiously ignored. MSI/NA supporters and Northem League, a "new" party, differ signifícantly on the ideological dimension (Table 2.3).


Table 2.3: Northem League versus MSI supporters' self-placement % on Left-Right Scale Ideology Extreme Left 2 3 4 CenterLeft CenterRight 7 8 9 ExtremeRight

Northem League % 6.3 3.2 7.9 12.7 14.3 23.8 12.7 12.7 4.8 1.3

MSI % 3.4

3.4 6.9 6.9 17.2 17.2 44.8

Source: World Values Survey, 1994.


Of course, this discrepancy is due to a differing classifícation scheme. Whereas the MSl/AN is/was fascist, and evidently right-wing extremist, the Northem League is a new type of party that tends to defy classifícation. Other such "popuUst" parties have emerged, including the Reform Party in Canada and Norways Progress Part>. that seem to be problematic as far as the extremist classifícation scheme is concemed. Some might argue that despite being a party of the left, the Bloc Quebecois in Canada also exhibrts "popuUst" tendencies. Generally these parties are excluded from the extremism analyses. whereas scholars offering the neo-popuUst explanation (e.g., Betz 1994) insist that there are signifícant paraUels between the rise and appeal of extremist parties and the popuUst parties. Ignazi himself notes the signifícance of growing disenchantment with mainstream poUtics and parties in his account of the appeal of new ERPs. It seems to be the case that m an effort to classify, the extremism literature focuses too much on ideology and not enough on electoral factors. The faUure of the Republicans in German\ to make a significant electoral breakthrough, for instance, is very often glossed over. Ignazi, for example, in commenting on RepubUcan setbacks nevertheless concludes that stmctural factors "leave them a strong potentiaUty for development" (1997, p. 58). I argue, on the other hand, that empirically the contention that many of these new parties appeal to extremists is invaUd. In fact, based on ideological self-placement scales, supporters of "extreme" right parties are not signifícantly more right-wing than thek mainstream right votmg compatriots. That is, ideological seff-placement does not do a ver\ good job of predictmg support for an "extreme" right party over a party of the mamstream right. The


table generaUy shows a schism between supporters ofright-wingand left-wing parties. but not between mainstream right and supposed extremerightparties (Table 2.4). Third, the "extremist" perspective includes within its minimum core attributes not only a rejection of the status quo, but also of individual Uberty and equaUty. It advocates an authoritarian system and a society based on ascription, and thus discrimination. Further, it advocates violence, if necessary, to achievertsends. By these criteria, the current crop of New Right parties would faU woefiiUy short. This is not to deny that New Right parties. or NPPs, fail to attract extremists. To the contrary, such parties attract large numbers of extremists, rank and fíle. But, these parties are not exclusively the domam of extremists, and more, they appeal to and attract supportfromneo-Uberals that would otherwise be ideologicaUy hostUe. By neo-Uberal, here we refer to those groups that want a scaling back of goverament subsidies and taxes that tend to hurt small enterprise. Neo-Uberals tend not to share the communal conceras of the popuUsts and extremists. Although these new parties engage in extremist rhetoric,rtma> be that this is a resort to "symbolic poUtics" and "coaUtion bargaining" in response to the exigencies of the postmodera poUtical arena (von Beyme 1996, p. 156). Most of these new popuUst parties are avowedly "democratic"; many support free market principles; and the racism, such that it is, is no longer based on biological principle, but is largely ethnocentric (Immerfall 1996). The individualistic discourse differentiates neo-popuUsm from fascism (Fennema 1995).


Table 2.4: Percentage of Voters that are Right-of-Center, sorted by Party Coimtrv

Extreme Right

Center Right Center Left

Canada % right-of-center

Reform 64.2

P.C 63

Liberals 48.9

France % right-of-center

National Front 75%


Socialists 6%

Greens 18%

Germany % right-of-center

RepubUcans 61%


SPD 14.2%

Greens 9.1%

Italy % right-of-center

MSI 89.7 Northera League 55.6

CD 50.8

SociaUsts 20

Greens 20

Norway % right-of-center

Progress 78.4

H 80.6

DNA 20

Source: World Values Survey. 1994.



In fairaess to the extremist perspective. though. it must be acknowledged thatrtis the case that fascist groups gravrtate towardsthe new parties, and that one can make too much of the cultural racism of these movements and parties. In Germanv, for instance. the State cracks down on extremism legally, shutting down parties that espouse ideas that are deemed too radical. Today racism seems to be expressed in more "poUtically correct" ways. Instead of insisting on biological superiority, today's racists might refer to the aUeged cultural incompatibUities of immigrant groups with their new nation. That is, overt racism has been so discredited that it must be repackaged to fít the contemporary zeitgeist. So, the extremist Uterature tends to be alarmist, warning against complacency. There can be little doubt that anti-irmnigrant sentiment fiiels support for most of the new parties of concera here (Table 2.5). The German Republicans, for instance, appear especially hostUe to immigrants based on the data presented in the table. However, it should also be noted that a disceraible pattera is elusive, given the counterinturtive resuhsfromthe Canadian and ItaUan data sets. In those countries supporters of the Reform Part>' and Northera League are less, not more, Ukely to mention immigrants as undesirable neighbors than mainstreamrightparty supporters. What is more. in the case of the former, Canadians who support the Reform Party are even less likely than mainstream left voters to mention immigrants! Overall, the inabiUty to account for success and failures and the neglect of apparently popuUst parties calls for some revision.


Table 2.5: Percentage of Party Supporters that Mention Immigrants as Undesirable Neighbors Coimtrv

Extreme Right

Center Right Center Left


Reform 5.6

P.C 6.7

Liberals 6

National Front 35.5


Socialists 9.7

Greens 4.1

RepubUcans 54.2

CDU/CSU 18.8

SPD 13.1

Greens 5.7

MSI 12.5 Northera League 21

CD 14.6

SociaUsts 11.2

Greens 6.1

Progress 32.8

H 16

DNA 11.8


France %

Germany %



Norway %

Source: World Values Survey, 1994.



New PoUtics Other perspectives part paths with the extremist perspective in rejecting the continurt\ thesis. The New PoUtics perspective is fairly broad. In generaL scholars approaching the rise of "New Right" parties tend to explam the phenomenon in terms of a response to the agenda of a New Left. The New Left. and associated parties, including the xarious en\'ironmental and Ufest>le parties, ostensibly reflect a manifestation of a "newpoUtics." The role of "new'' issues and ideology in the emergence of new parties is a contentious issue. The rise of ecologicaL quality of life issues, middle class protest movements. and en\ ironmental parties led some scholars to the conclusion that modernization was transforming industrial societies to post-industrial societies (Bell 1973; Offe 1983, 1985). These changes are often discussed m macro-historical terms. Some considered the transformations so profound that poUtics as we knew it would change. Rather than a politics based on narrow, material interest, voters would increasingly push for poUcies based on their values (Inglehart 1977, 1990). Even if this were an exaggeration, certainly the societal cleavages of old (see Lipset and Rokkan 1967) could no longer ensure stable poUtical alignments. The notion that part>' systems e\ olve glaciaUy (Crewe 1985) had to be dismissed in face of the rise of many new parties (Janda 1980; Harmel and Robertson 1985). Explaining the formation of new poUtical parties was attracting increasing attention in comparative poUtics, especially with a view to explaining the emergence of a series of green parties (Krtscheh 1989; MûUer-Rommel 1992).


Culture Shift and Value Cleavages Stmctural explanations make some predictions as to how macro-le\ el changes impact micro-level behaviors. Culture shift theory suggests that individuals with postmaterial values are more likely to support parties of the New Left. It is, therefore, part of what might be dubbed a "subjective class school" (Pichardo 1996). Culture Shift is a theory closely associated with Ronald Inglehart (1977; 1990), w^o claims that 'Value change" is the primary factor e?q)laining the rise of a new poUtics. In short, it is the positive affîrmation of new values resulting from af uence. New '"post-materialist" generations exhibit new values. A particular advantage of this perspective is that rt accounts for the preponderant participation of middle classes in environmental poUtics. On the other hand, it does not teU us much about neo-popuUsts, other than to suggest that they belong to the old poUtics of "'materiaUsm," thus denying them any commitment to identity poUtics. It suggests that post-materiaUsts are more likely (than materiaUsts and those with "mixed" value orientations) to engage in unconventional, protest poUtics, controUing for other "incentives" (Opp 1988). However, there is some empirical evidence that suggests the role of values in overcoming coUective action problems is less pronounced than Inglehart and his foUowers assume (Finkel and Opp 1991). Supporters of neo-popuUst parties might be e?q)ected to exhibit a contrary profíle: materiaUst values, and low participation, especiaUy in unconventional poUtics. Another perspective is that what divides New Left and New Right is the prevalence of "authoritarian" values among New Right supporters, and a coiresponding


prevalence of "Ubertarian" values among New Left supporters. The concept of authoritarianism tends to be derived from Theodor Adomo's description of the "authoritarian personaUty" (1950). Accordmg to this view, mdividuals with an authoritarian personaUty, apparently a resuh of chUd rearing patteras, tend to be ethnocentric, adhere to conventional values, exhibit a submissive attitude towards moral authority, and do not tolerate ambigurty. Other scholars (Flanagan 1987; Flanagan and Lee 1987) have argued that the non-economic authoritarianism versus Ubertarianism better explains the new poUtics cleavage than Inglehart's theory. This may be a more accurate predictor, but there are certain questions regarding the "authoritarianism" among New Right supporters, especiaUy m Ught of studies that suggest that New Right supporters tend to be moraUy ambivalent, and less reUgious than old right supporters of the estabUshed centerright"catch-aU" parties. Fiuther. the authoritarianism perspective faces the same conceptual dUemma as the extremist perspective. Why is it that these ostensibly old values fínd voice now and not in the past, when they should have been more prevalent than today. The thesis tends to be that the encroachment of Ubertarian values challenges traditional social norms, and given the diminishing signifícance of material poUtics, the authoritarian backlash ensues. In this respect, authorrtarianism also relegates the New Right to a reactionary category. However, h is curious that this New Right seems to gain electoral footholds in countries Uke France, w^ere a New Left party of signifícance has not chaUenged the Old Left's hegemony, but faUs in coimtries such as Germany, where a New Left has clearly emerged as a poUtical force.


New Social Movements and the New PoUtics New Social Movement theory might be referred to as the "objective class schooL" since the middle class itself is formed by stmctural factors. New Social Movement theories also tend to marginalize the contemporaryright-wingmovements and parties, if only because the NSM approach was designed to account for new ideologies and movements of the left (Pichardo 1996). In theor> there is Uttle reason to preclude •'coimter-movements," mcluding neo-popuUst parties (Mottl 1980: Pichardo 1995). Although empirical studies demonstrate that working classes make up significant numbers of supporters of various neo-popuUst parties, this is not tme across the board. There are parties. such as the Northera League if Italy, where middle class support is prominent. GeneraUy. to the degree that NSM deals explicitly with neo-popuUst parties or the New Right, it treats them as a reactionar> movement. NSM theories suggest that the middle class resist social and economic domination ofthe civic sphere (Habermas 1987; Melucci 1984: Sassoon 1984: Touraine 1971). In many ways, this is reminiscent of Gramscian theory. otherwise dubbed "cultural Marxism" (CarroU 1992). The resuh is "cuhure conflict" (Kauffiman 1990; Weiner 1982). The implication of this approach is that professional middle-classes should resist flirther rationalization. Yet, this expectation would be contradicted if neo-popuUst parties were also oriented towards preserving civic life.


Mmkenberg's New Right A leading advocate of this New PoUtics perspective is Michael Minkenberg (1997). Minkenberg argues that the extremism-continuity thesis is flawed. since the rise of the New Right movements and parties cannot be conceived without reference to 1968. Minkenberg conceptualizes the New Right as a neo-conservative backlash to the social and poUtical agenda of the New Left. According to Minkenberg, the New Right does not simply represent "moderaLzation losers," since objective measures such as unemployment faU to explain the appeal of New Right parties. Further. the rhetoric of the New Right cannot be reduced to anti-democratic extremism, since "in rhetoric and behavior they are as pro- as they are anti-system" (Minkenberg 1997, p. 66). Minkenberg argues that a focus on individual level and cultural change is needed to balance the exclusive focus on economic changes. In Minkenberg's conceptualization, the New Right is a "radical reaction to fundamental social and cuhural changes in Westera societies" (1997, p.66). Therefore. the New Right is inherently "conservative" in a Mannheimian sense, given that conservative values cannot be reduced to anti-modemism, but as a dialectical counterpart to poUtical modemization. FoUowing Mannheim, conservative and progressive forces are two sociaUy based and mutuaUy related Weltatischauungen (world-views). Although the withering of traditional poUtical aUgnments had been part of a secular transformation from industrial to post-industrial society, 1968 represents a symboUc watershed year. Of coiu-se, 1968 had different impacts in different contexts. In Francertwas the latest of many upheavals since 1789, but in Germanyrtwas more


profound in that it chaUenged Germans to come to terms with theh- past (the so caUed Vergangenheitsbewãltigung) and their national identrty. Germans seem to have come out of the yoke of theh- supposed hitherto "subject culture." The spread of the post-material movement and associated environmental poUtics seems to have led to a shift to therightamong some inteUectual eUtes and a proportion of the pubUc. The signifîcance of this "rediscovered" conservatism is not m the novelty of the ideology, but the fact that the response was comingfromtradrtionally left-of-center groups along with traditionally conservative groups. From this perspective the New Right is not simply a revival of Old PoUtics conservatism - opposition to income redistribution and calls for reUgious traditionalism - but a new coaUtion of forces that are united against the common enemy, the New Left. The New Right radicalize this neoconservative reaction. PopuUst, anti-systemic sentiment is mobUized. In this sense, the New Right is not the extension of conservatism to theright,but the product of the restmcturing poUtical spectmm. A sense of impending crisis further fuels support forthe New Right, as immigration, unemployment, and poUtical scandals erode confídence in goverament. In sum, the New Right can be conceptuaUzed as a negation of 1968 and the New Left agenda, which includes egalitarianism, feminism, muhi-cultxu-alism, and environmentaUsm.


Critique The advantage of this perspective is that it conceptualizes the rise of New Right parties in the context of a new poUtics. On the other hand, it circumscribes the New Right to an auxiliary category, defíned primarUy in terms of opposition to the New Left. The disadvantage is that the new poUtics perspective fails to account for why "materialists," orthe otherwise materiaUy insecure, simply do not opt for the old left alteraative. Or, indeed, why not the old right? In fact, an analysis of survey data suggests that New Right party supporters in some countries are not especially "materialistic" in value orientation, as measured b> indices designed to tap into Inglehart's value change thesis. For instance, survey data from Canada suggest Reform Party supporters, far from being more materialistic than Progressive Conservatives, tend to more post-materialistic (Table 2.6). Notably, the New PoUtics scholars, like their extremism scholar counterparts, tend to ignore the rise of the Reform Party of Canada, as weU as the Northera League of Italy. Yet, these parties are also part of the "new" poUtics m mdustrialized countries. They too deal with issues of identrty and cultiu-e, and are not therefore a mere extension of the poUtical spectmm to the right. As was tme of the extremism Irteratiu-e, some of the new parties mentioned here appear to be an Ul fít for the New Right explanation. The Reform Party, for mstance, cannot be conceptuaUzed as a response to the New Left per se, but a response to a Constitutional quagmire, which m tum may be related to muhicultural mrtiatives, but not necessarUy so.


Table 2.6: Progressive Conservatives versus Reform Supporters' % on Post-materialism Values Index Value Orientation

Reform %

MateriaUst values Mixed orientation Post-material values

3.6 70.2 26.2

Progressive Conservatives % 13.2 65.4 21.5

Source: World Values Survey, 1994.


The New Left perspecti\ e and value change thesis may differentiate left from right. more generaU>. but likeh is not the primar> differentiating factor between New Right and New Left in some circumstances. This is because many of the new parties are not distinct from the mainstream right as far as Inglehart's materiaUsm index is conceraed (seeTable2.7). The New PoUtics perspective, like the extremism Uterature. tends to put too much emphasis on the aUeged ideolog>' of New Right movements and parties. In fact. in the case of the New PoUtics Uterature, scholars such as Minkenberg (1997) go to lengths trying to estabUsh linkages between the New Right "metapoUtical" movements, including Alain de Benoist's GRECE. and the various poUtical parties. However, parties such as Jean-Marie Le Pen's National Front often differ with groups like GRECE. Further, as was tme of the neo-fascist/extremism lrteratxu"e, the New PoUtics Uterature ma> be making too much of these aUeged Unkages. In the case of the neo-fascist Uterature the focus was on the membership of various new extremerightparties, at the expense of a focus on the heterogenerty of the membership overaU. A focus on membership alone is problematic. since technically the SociaUsts m France and notably the late President Fran^ois Mitterrand also would have had such Unkages with the Vich> regime. Similarly, the focus on the New Right ideology. wliich may ha\ e been inspfred by the student led revohs of 1968, assumes Unkages between the New Right mteUectuals and the new parties.

Table 2.7: MateriaUsm-PostmateriaUsm % Among Respective Party Supporters m Canada, France, Germany, Italy, and Norway Value Orientation

New Right

Center Right

Center Left

Canada Materialists Mixed Post-MateriaUsts

Reform 3.6 70.2 26.2

P. Conservatives 13.2 65.4 21.5

Liberals 13.2 64.2 22.5

France Materialists Mixed Post-Materialists

National Front 23.3 60 16.7

RPR/UDF 25.4 58.5 16.2

SociaUsts 16.1 52.7 31.2

Greens 7.4 57.4 35.1

Germanv Materialists Mixed Post-Materialists

RepubUcans 17.4 69.6 13

CDU/CSU 20.6 66 13.4

SPD 11.7 50.7 37.6

Greens 5.1 26.5 68.4

Italv Materialists Mixed Post-MateriaUsts

CD 29.4 53.1 17.5

Socialists 21.3 53.7 25

Greens 12.4 46 41.6

Materialists Mixed Post-Materialists

MSI 25 69 6 Northera League 25 51.4 23.6

Norwav Materialists Mixed Post-MateriaUsts

Progress Partv 24.8 68.8 6.4

H/SP 28.5 63.2 8.3

DNA/SV 28.7 58.6 12.7

Soiu"ce: World Values Survey, 1994.



This is not always a convincing rendition of the &cts and may reflect a German bias. 1968 may have been profound in Germany, but not so important in other parts of the world. For instance, 1982, the year Canada became ofiBciaUy sovereign, may be a far more signiGcant tuming point in the domestic cleavage stmcture m Canada than any other event. The question then must be what are the paraUels and differences in these contexts? Whereas there seems to be a very strong linkage between the New Right and the RepubUcans hi Germany, the same is less evident m other countries. ff anything. the National Front in France is a very heterogeneous party appealing to groups with various ideologies. Some of the more apparently "popuUst" parties, such as the Northera League of Italy or the Canadian Reform Party seem to have arisen in the context of poUtical upheaval of the center, and not as a response to a New Left agenda per se.

DeaUgnment and Protest Voting Finally, a default account is to explain away the New Right parties as a "protest" vote, largely accounted for through a decades old trend towards deaUgnment in the party systems of industrial democracies. DeaUgnment, or the decUning saUence of social group memberships (i.e., the social cleavages model), leads to more individualized voting, meaning a more psychological model sans party loyalty. By implication, this denies the "conviction" of New Right supporters. They may be issue voters, but they are deaUgned. The advantage of this perspective is that it serves as a nuU hypothesis for aU other crossnational explanations. The disadvantage is that the deaUgnment perspective fails to


account for the relative longevrty of some successful New Right parties. In 1997, for mstance, over 50% of National Front voters claimed to have selected the NF as the part>' they feh "closest to" (Mayer 1998, p. 23). At least m the case of the NF, we might be seemg the beghmmgs of a bona fíde reaUgnment.

Critique The deaUgnment perspective is not so much a cross-national explanation for the "third wave" asrtis a nuU hypothesis applicable to aU post-industrial electorates. Although issues may play an important role in determining the vote, the degree to which voters of newer parties vote out of conviction is uncertain. In recent years, the rise of Green parties led some scholars to reconsider the deaUgnment perspective. It appears that these parties of the New Left did indeed attract voters of conviction. The impact environmental poUtics has had on party aUgnments overaU may be destabUizing, partly because the strategies of the environmental movements tends to consciously transcend poUtical aUgnments. Dnect electoral appeals seem to be more Ukely in countries where the poUtical process is relatively stmctured, representative of "neo-corporatist economic interests and closed decision-making stmctures" as is apparently the case in Germany wiiere a Green party has emerged as a signifîcant poUtical party (Dahon 1994, p. 257). The question then is whether the voters of other new parties also vote out of conviction. The evidence that National Front voters are at least as likely, if not more so, to vote repeatedly for the Front, as are other partisans for theh- respecti\ e parties is


mdicati\e of a "reaUgnment" (Mayer 1998). However, the deaUgnment perspective remains the nuU hypothesis with respect to the stabUrty of the vote over time. Since most of the parties analyzed in this study are relatively new, it is too early to make any defínrtive statements, although one might argue that the case of the National Front seems to estabUsh that the vote for that party is not merely a protest vote.

Neo-PopuUsm A more satisfying cross-national explanation would be one that accounts for most of the variance between old and New Right parties, as well as identiíying factors that relate to the relative electoral successes of new parties. This thesis proposes that the concept of popuUsm helps account for both the success and popular appeal of NPPs. Successful NPPs have explorted growing "resentment" towards the poUtical estabUshment in numerous post-industrial countries. Although most countries face similar dUermnas associated with the advent of postindustrial society, not aU coimtries have experienced a successful neo-popuUst challenge in the form of an NPP. This thesis posits that the abiUty to mobiUze latent popuUst sentiments is incumbent upon organizational stmctiu'es and a popuhst strateg>', as weU as a favorable poUtical opportunity stmcture. Here a popuUst strategy refers to a deUberate targeting, or scapegoating, of "valence" issues. This strategy may also emphasize the distinct identity of a group. Often the targets help differentiate the group members from groups they mutuaUy oppose: goverament ofiBcials. mainstream poUticians, national and supranational bureaucracies, immigrants. and so forth. The goal is to transcend class


Imes and appeal to a vôlkisch sense of peoplehood. This strategy can be successfiil in some contexts. For instance, m North Italy, where identifícation wrth a town ma\ ri\ al national and class identrties, the popuUst strategy has been to emphasize regional interests. Exploitation of the "resentment" of the popular classes is key. As the consensus associated wrth post-War social democracy unravels, resentment of social welfare and muhiculturaUsm fínds a voice in the form of NPPs. PopuUsm also helps differentiate NPPs from "extreme"right-wingparties, or otherwise neo-fascist parties. Extreme and neo-fascist parties, it wiU be argued, fail to galvanize broad popular support, and instead aUenate most voters, appealing only to a core of ideological supporters, who are authoritarian and anti-democratic (also see Betz and Immerfal 1998). NPPs draw on support from a heterogeneous group of deaUgned voters who may share gmdges, but the roots of their grievances are disparate. In that sense, the ideal-type NPP might be conceived as a neo-popuUst coaUtion kept together through a popuUst style. The supporters of NPPs might be seen as part of a "sUent counter-revolution" (Ignazi 1992) in reference to Inglehart's (1977, 1990) assertion that a post-industrial revolution was quietly, but surely transforming the poUtical landscape in industrialized countries. Modemization is a cormnon theme in much of the macro-historical Irterature. but the impUcations of this particular approach is that neo-popuUsm relates to the insecurities of certam groups and individuals. According to Betz (1993, 1995), neopopuUsm resuhs from an aggregation of post-mdustrial protest from parts of the working class and new middle classes. The working class appeal is secured through scapegoating


immigrants, and the new middle class appeal through advocating laissez-faire economic poUcies. Further, neo-popuUst party supporters are likely to be fearful and insecure. lackmg tmst m mstrtutions and lacking social ties (Mayer 1995). This perspective presupposes deaUgnment and estrangement from the poUtical system The advantage of this perspectrve is thatrtidentifíes a factor that clearly differentiates NPPs from neo-fascist parties. The extremism Uterature tends to identify' a minimum list of attributes of extremism, including anti-systemic poUcies and, by impUcation hostiUty to Uberal democracy. Unfortimately the "new" extreme parties often fail to meet the criteria. Although arguably "anti-systemic," most of these parties are avowedly "democratic." Another problem is that many "new" extreme parties are also avowedly neo-Uberal with respect to economic ideology, whereas fascism entaUs corporatism. On the other hand, given the resentment of poUtical eUtes that seems to drive the popuUst movements, one cannot readUy assert that these parties manifest a neoconservative backlash per se, as the New PoUtics Uterature asserts. PopuUsm,rtwUl be argued, helps account for this apparent contradiction. The disadvantage with conceptualizing a neo-popuUst New Right is the acknowledged íuzziness of the term "popuUsm" Like fascism and extremism, it often entaUs a minimum of core criteria. Nevertheless, the concept of popuUsm is distinct from fascism or extremism, in that the latter enqjhasize an ideology, whereas the former implies a poUtical style.

Defínmg Populism PopuUsm, like extremism or conservatism, is a concept that is often difificuh to operationalize. However, insofar asrtis possible, the goal must be defíne these different concepts in mutuaUy exclusive terms. Fascism refers to an ideal, and is inrtselfless weU articulated than other ideologies like Marxism, butrtis nevertheless a model for society based on the crisis of UberaUsm, and most avowedly "fascist" movements of the interwar era. Conservatism, meanwhile, refers to another ideology that defíes clear demarcations, but is distinct from popuUsm in thatrtdefends particular existing institutions or human virtues, and is often seen as anti-modera insofar as it resists reducing obUgations to choice, as is the thmst of Uberalism. PopuUsm on the other hand, ahhough not a disceraible ideology per se, rejects existing institutions, which allegedly do not represent the people. In its most archetypal form popuUst movements are those that "seek to mobiUze the people as individuals, rather than as members of a particular socioeconomic group," against a state which is considered to be either controUed b> vested interests or too powerful inrtself(Marshall 1994. p. 404). NaturaUy there is considerable variation from this ideal, since various aUegedly popuUst movements have been inrtiated by the state. We might view Thatcherism, Reaganism, Kemalism, or Perônism in this light. GeneraUy, though, popuUsts oppose some group or groups often associated with the goverament. Although the term popuUsm is often associated with the Left, there is no reason to assume that popuUsm is restricted to any poUtical ideology. PopuUsts oppose the


particular, extant social order or at least some aspects of rt. In Europe this had manifested rtself as hostUrty to the Right, thus popiUist movements associated wrth rural mterests and, in rts more radical forms, afiBUated with organized Labor. On the other hand, some agrarian-based popuUst movements have also been at odds with Labor, rejecting what they perceived as "labor aristocracy" and were generaUy hostUe towards urban areas m promoting peasant values. Further, popuUsm may claim to embody the wUl of an entne nation, as opposed to any class mterests, hence Jean-Marie Le Pen's National Front might be considered and is sometimes dubbed a national popuUst movement.

Post-Industrial Neo-PopuUsm Neo-popuUsts, in the post-industrial context, generaUy attack the post-War social democratic consensus. In practice they oppose welfare and muhiculturaUsm They therefore target the mainstream parties, leô and right, as compUcrt vanguards of the stams quo. Specifíc targets, however, vary from context to context. In Northera Ital> the popuUsts scapegoat the South and the govemment in Rome. The argument in this context is that North Italy is a separate region with a separate work ethic from the rest of ItaK. The South, including SicUy, is considered parasrtic. In Canada the popuUsts object to the supposed favoritism that Ottawa has bestowed upon the province of Quebec at the e?q)ense of the interests of Westera Canada. In either case the popuUst movements are attempting to mobiUze regional support that transcends class interest. In most cases the popuUst movement or party makes an effort to erq)hasize a common enemy of the


"people." Goveraing elites are portrayed as coaq)Ucit vanguards of an order that ignores the supposed wUl of the people. PopuUst parties differ from mainstreamrightparties in that they are radical. In a sense, popuUsts tend to be "extremist," insofar as they tend to propagate radical transformation of the socioeconomic status quo. PopuUsm, therefore, is contextual and relative to extant socioeconomic and sociopoUtical stmctures. What bridges popuUst movements together imder the mbric of a common category is their claim to represent the people as a whole. Mainstreamrightparties are, by defínition, conservative parties. That is, they defend many institutions of the prevailing socioeconomic order that popuUsts would do away with. The "conservative" parties of the latter half of the twentieth century represent a convergence of social conservatism and economic liberahsm. Ahhough initially predisposed to support the post-War "social democratic consensus," these mainstream parties have shifted towards classical economic theory in response to growing inflation and social problems that came to the fore in the 1970s in most industrialized democracies. NPPs tend to be more programmatic than centerrightparties. The mamstream centerrightor conservative parties tend to be "catch-aU" parties. That is they adhere to the "rational effîcient" or "cadre" party model that avoids ideology with a view to maximizing the vote. In recent years, parties of therightin the U.S. and UK have become more ideologicaL and have made more popuUst appeals. In other coimtries this strategy has been imavailable because the conservatives were wedded to divisive poUcies,


such as European mtegration, that tended to estrange nationaUsts and those conceraed about seceding sovereignty. The growing convergence between Left and Right on some of these poUcies aUows NPPs to explort issues that neither mainstream right nor left can address.

The Neo-Populist Socioeconomic and SociopoUtical Contexts The rise of NPPs to electoral signifícance in industrialized countries coincides with the growing economic pessimism of the late 1970s. This context is unique. insofar as it represents a window of opportunity for "movements of crisis" to exploit social dislocations (Kriesi 1995, p.23). Nineteenth century American popuUsm, the National SociaUsm of the 1920s and Poujadism of the 1950s aU seemto correspond to físcal and economic pressures. Since the late 1970s, we may have been experiencmg a "crisis" of the postwar socioeconomic model (Betz and Immerfal, 1998, p.7). The dynamic growth, spreading affluence and material security that were the haUmark of the postwar years seem to be in jeopardy. In fact, there is an apparent reversal of these trends. Declinmg real mcome m the U.S. and other developed countries, coupled wdth wddening mcome gaps between rich and poor have been eye openers. Worse stiU, especiaUy in some European countries, poUcies offiiUemployment have long since given way to mass imemployment. According to some scholars, a signifícant transformation of the economy is imdermining human caprtal m the workforce (Betz 1994; Betz 1998). This has been. and continues to be, a global secular transformation. In the 1970s as industrial mass


produaion gave way to flexible manufacturing, labor was the big loser. The new production methods entaUed a shift from labor-intensive production to caprtal intensi\ e "lean" production. MeanwhUe, mdustry-centered economies were transforming into service-oriented economies. The resuhing devaluation of the labor force hrt workers and lower management hardest, since these groups possessed Uttle transferable human capital to secure jobs in the new economy. These people are often dubbed the "losers of moderaization." The days of "organized capitaUsm" are coming to a close. The advent of an "individualized capitalism" leads to greater uncertainty, anxiety and social dislocations. Therefore, imlike the New PoUtics perspective's emphasis on 1968, the neopopuUst perspective puts greater emphasis on the less distinct secular changes that ha\ e been occiuring since the 1970s in the global economy. The resentment of muhiculturaUsm corresponds with the flow of cheap laborfromthe Global South. Whatever the influence of New Right ideology on the NPPs of the 1980s and 1990s. the impact of these ideas did not manifest poUticaUy untU the late 1970s. ff we assume that the economic context affecting post-industrial societies are simUar, we need other factors to explain where NPPs gam an electoral foothold and where they remam mdefínhely hrelevant. This is not to say that aU else is equal. However, economic differences are imlikely to account for the variance, because NPPs have succeeded and faUed m similar and dissimUar settmgs. We find NPPs m Austria and Norway, where unemployment is low, yet no successful NPP in Britam with higher unemployment.


That is, aggregate unemployment levels and gross domestic product do not seem to predict where one might anticipate the rise of NPPs (see Table 2.8). NPPs do seem to do weU where unemployment is high. The French National Front no doubt capitalizes on economic anxieties, and there is reason to beUeve thatrtsmunicipal successes in southera France are related to unemployment problems. However, if relatively low unemployment explains lack of success, how would we account for NPP success in Norway (4.9% unemployment) or m Austria (4.1%)*^ That is, some of the most successful NPPs emerge in economic settings that would be counterintuitive. Further, if we argue that post-industrial economies are more likeK to produce NPPs we woidd have to account for the NPP successes in less service-oriented economies such as Italy where 52% work in the service sector. We would have to account for lack of successes in some more service-oriented economies such as Britam where the corresponding fígure is 72%. Finally, we cannot account for disparities between green and NPP successes using these criteria. If anything the success of an NPP in Norway, the Progress Party, suggests that objective economic criteria alone cannot predict the rise of NPPs. Norway's economy, although highly reUant on oU production thus not very diversified, is buoyant by any standard, with 3.9% annual growth m real GDP m the 1990s. ff an NPP should succeed among Nordic countries by economic criteria, we might have predicted this m Sweden where annual growth is low (0.6%) and unemployment higher than Norway's.


Table 2.8: Unemployment, Service Sector as % of GDP, GDP per head, and Purchasmg Power Parity per head as of 1998 Coimtry

Unemployment %

Australia Austria Belgium Canada Denmark France Germany Italy Netherlands New Zealand Norway Spain Sweden Switzerland United Kingdom U.S.A.

8.6 4.1 9.6 9.7 6.9 12.4 8.8 12.1 6.6 6.1 4.9 22.2 8.0 3.7 8.2 5.4

Service Sector % 72 65 66 73 67.3 68 66.7 52 68.5 66 72 61 70.8 68 71.7 73

GDP/head $20.370 $27,940 $26,440 $19,200 $32,250 $26,290 $28,860 $19,930 $25,850 $15.850 $34,780 $14,200 $25,770 $43,420 $19,810 $27.590

PPP 73.1 78 81.2 78.2 80.6 78 76.5 72.3 75.3 60.4 84.8 54.8 68.2 93.5 73.1 100.0

Source: The Economist. The Economist Pocket World in Figures. London: Profíle Books Ltd., 1998.


Economic output is not a reUable predictor of NPP success, erther. The table (Table 2.8) includes both measures for gross domestic product per head (GDP/head) and piu-chasmg parity (PPP) measures. Purchasmg power parity (PPP) is mcluded as a controL since the GDP/head ratio may be somewhat misleading. PPP adjusts for cost of Uvmg differences m order to standardize the cost of a "basket" of goods. The ranking of various countries change when we use the PPP measure. In erther case, though, the NPP presence in Norwa> or Switzerland is stiU puzzUng. Since objective economic indicators cannot reUably predict wiiere we might expect an NPP to take root, the variance might have to do with the varying part> systems. Below I argue that NPPs profít to the degree that centrist, mamstreamrightparties fail to address new. saUent poUtical issues stemmingfrompost-industrial society. The Crisis of Conservatism A cross-national "crisis of conservatism" seems to have undermined \ arious traditional conser\ ati\ e positions. Intra-eUte di\isions among conser\'ative poUtical leaders has become more pronounced with the end of the Cold War. This seems to hold desprte variance in the systems. That is, NPPs have taken root in countries where contentious, centrifugal poUtics tends to be the norm, as in Italy, as weU as in countries where consensus is the norm, as in Norway. In fact, in some cases there may be a shift from a more centrist party system to a more polarized system, as in Canada. In these coimtries the mainstreamrighttends to be divided o\ er a niunber of divisive issues. In Italy the splintering of therightoccurred in the face of widespread cormption and scandal. but in other countriesrthas been a more secular trend. In Canada


the Unguistic cleavage has divided voters regionaUy, andright-wingparties along Provincial lines. Unlike mainstreamrightparties, that tend to adhere to the rational efificient or "catch-aU" party type, the NPPs are more programmatic. They take clear issue posrtions on hnmigration and other issues, which the mainstream parties are rehictant to address. For years researchers have been cormnenting on how Otto Kirchheimer's (1966) decline of ideology thesis exaggerated the degree to which party systems were aggregating (Mayer 1989). A number of smaUer parties emerged since the 1970s that suggest otherwise. It is of great mterest to note that the convergence of the mainstream left and right in most party systems has continued despite the emergence of newer parties. Especiall} since the end of Cold War, any ideological differences on caprtaUsm have become blurred. This seems to occur regardless of whether the party system has been characterized as "aggregated" or "polarized," pluraUst, democratic corporatist or etatist. Thus a new form of contentious poUtics emergesfromthis convergence, based upon newer issues. Static labeling of party systems by characteristic masks the simUarities in the processes of change (Lipsky 1970). In many European countries the major conservative parties of theright,known as Christian Democrats in some coimtries, had successfuUy lured social conservatives together desprte historic cleavages based on reUgion or ethnichy. In the 19* century, these divisions were largely insimnoimtable. In the 20* centiuy, the Christian Democrats were able to overcome the Protestant-CathoUc impediment to a imitedrightin German>.


In France de GauUe's Fifth RepubUc raUied the clerical and RepubUcan conservatives under a common banner. This was also tme in Italy. Ironically, conservative parties were the beneficiaries of broader liberalizing trends in social life in most industrialized coimtries allowing the formerly hostUe sociaUy conservative groups to coalesce. After World War n, these sociaUy conservative parties embraced poUcies often associated with the economic left, large degrees of goverament involvement in stimulating production and ensuring social welfare, what has subsequently come to be known as the genericaUy known as the "social democratic consensus." However, by the 1970s, the conservative parties began to shift economic emphasis in response to inflationary pressures and slow economic growth. In some countries this new conservatism was more pronounced than in others. In the United States and Britain, especiaUy, social conservatism converged wrth economic conservatism, echoing Friedrich. A. Hayek's conceras about the aUeged "road to serfdom" that would be the uhhnate result of centralized economic plaiming. The market and the ethos of personal responsibiUty were portrayed as two sides of the same coin, as popiUarized by the likes of Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher. Elsewhere conservatives took note, but often could not abandon the "social democratic consensus" so easUy. Instead, in coimtries like Germany the Christian Democrats tried to hold on to the poUtical "center," smce the German poUtical system had been based upon a managed caprtaUsm with a "human face," otherwise known as the "social market economy." The German conservatives were essentially wedded to "democratic corporatism." Christian Democratic parties in Germany and elsewhere faUed


to hold onto their socially diverse constituents, but were, for a short time. beneficiaries of the breakdown of the economies and poUtical systems in Eastera and Central Europe. However, the I990s witnessed more electoral setbacks for the conser\ ative parties. E\'en in the U. S. and the UK the Reagan and Thatcher revolutions were short Uved, and subsequent conservative leaders lost momentum The mainstreamrightcontinued to be ardent supporters of economic integration. Conservative parties were, thus. generalh unable to address the problems associated with the global economy, expressed in terms of Eiu-o-skepticism. or. in the case of North America, anti-NAFTA sentiment, and continued to lose voters to the NPPs. MeanwhUe, the mainstream left encroached on man> conservative issues after 1989. By the late 1990s the conservatives were out of power in aU of Europe. as weU as in Britain and Canada. Only in a handftil of industrialized countries, including Spain, AustraUa, and Japan did conservatives remain in power. and in the U. S. Congress. This secular decline of the mainstream, conservative right appeared to create opportunities for more radical parties, such as the neo-popuUsts (NPPs). In some countries. the opportimities were more pronounced than others. For instance. in France the apparent end of the "thhty glorious years" by the mid-1970s ser\ ed to di\'ide the right. The 1974 presidential election marked the disaggregation of the GauUist coaUtion, resuhmg m the polarization between Valery Giscard d'Estaing's Union Pour la Democratie Franqaise (UDF) and Jacques Chirac's Rassemblement Pour la République (RPR). Within a decade, many voters had abandoned the mainstreamright,with man> now favoring Jean-Marie Le Pen's National Front. In the late 1990s. desprte the electoral


challenge from the Front, the mainstreamrightin France remained divided, despite a socalled "AUiance." Divisions on the European Union and how best to deal with the Front prevented therightfromagreeing on common poUcies. In Italy the poUtical scandals of 1992 known as Tangentopoli so discredrted the Christian Democrats that they splintered and coUapsed, aUowing for other parties, notably the regional popuUst Northera League and the former neo-fascist MSI, now NA, to take advantage. Divisions on therightare evident in other countries where popuUst parties make inroads. In Canada the Progressive Conservatives were stigmatized through association with the unpopular Charlottetown Accord as weU as for its support for the North American free trade regime, NAFTA. The Reform Party establishedrtselfas the major party of therightin the west. The older parties find themselves in a new arena w^ere elections are increasingly capital intensive, rather than labor intensive, and where television becomes an increasingly more important than raUies and demonstrations, and thus the image of the party leader becomes an important factor (see Baraes 1997; Swanson and Mancini 1996). The older parties become primarUy machines for winning elections, not for mobiUzing tme believers. The new parties, meanwhUe, are not "mass" parties. They cannot mobUize groups based on traditional societal cleavages, such as class, reUgion, or ethnicity. The question is how to classify the new parties. Some of the new parties, especiaUy those of the New Left, have been characterized as parties of "cognitive mobiUzation." The cognitively


mobilized have identities and interests that transcend tradrtional cleavages. There is less consensus on how to accoimt for NPPs. Do NPPs also appeal to "newer" identrties?

NPPs Below I argue that NPPs are programmatic yet pragmatic. That is, they shift emphases to exploit popuUst sentiments and change programs accordingly. Centralized stmctures aUow for such versatiUty. The ideal NPP differs from a neo-fascist party both inrtsprogram and pragmatism Neo-fascist parties are overtly ideological and cannot appeal to broad resentments without aUenating many voters, and thus are less successfiil. NPPs and neo-fascist parties differ on their respective economic poUcies, so neo-fascists cannot appeal to smaU shopkeepers and smaU enterprise the way an NPP might. NPP rhetoric is designed to appeal to a broader audience, bringing social conservatives. petrt bourgeoisie, ethno-centrists, Eiu"Oskeptics, and the economicaUy insecure aU under one roof The w ay to do this is to articulate a popuUst platform that attempts to address the concems of these disparate groups without sacrifícing the interests of one group for another. This is achieved through scape-goating common enemies, and thus transcending old poUtics cleavages. NPPs should, therefore, generaUy differ from other parties, mcludmg the mamstreamright,on the basis of their electoral appeaL PopuUsm, hence popuUst parties, can be differentiated through the identifícation of core attributes (lonescu and GeUner, 1969; Kazm 1995). These attributes mclude a stmcture of argumentation, a poUtical style and strategy, and ideology.


Argumentation. The neo-popuUst argumentation emphasizes a faith in the commonsense of the popular masses. That is, common people are wise but disregarded by the "poUtical class," and denied then legrtimate voice desprte then aUeged moral superiority. NPPs also suggest simple solutions to complex problems. A VoUdsh emphasis on peoplehood denies the signifícance of class poUtics. Instead, m the postindustrial context, neo-popuUsts emphasize therightsof ordinary people from aU walks ofUfe. Sometimes the popular issues of post-industrial society may even border on the absurd. In Denmark, for instance, the most surprising winner in the 1995 election was comedian Jacob Haugaard, who is not a neo-popuhst per se. He was elected as an independent on a campaign platform of shorter lines at supermarkets. better weather, nicer Christmas presents, a taUwind for cycUsts, free kettles for old-age pensioners, and therightof men to be impotent! Haugaard,fromthe westem crty of Aarhus, won 23,000 personal votes to sweep into the house as Denmark's third independent ever to be elected to the Folketing. Another surprise was the election of Jesse "the body" Ventura as Govemor of Minnesota in the U.S. in 1998. Once again, the "people" rejected mainstream poUticians in favor of an outsider. Generally, though, the neo-popuUst argumentation can be more serious and ideologically derived. The argument is that many of the popular issues are related to broader societal trends. Even parties whh improbable names, such as the Swiss AutomobiUsts Party, argue that their real concem is Uberal nationalism, direct


democracy, free markets and Swiss independence. The mainstream parties supposedK neglect these issues. Strategy. The popuUst strategy is one of speaking for imarticulated opinions, demands, and the sentiments of ordinary people. It entaUs a mobUization of resentment agamst a set of clearly defíned enemies. These enemies include the poUtical class, as weU asrts"clientele," those wiio are the benefíciaries of govemment expenditures. In conjunction, it further emphasizes the supposed worker/producer ethic among the popular classes, and ascribes worth on the basis of production, as opposed to reUance on govemment resoiu-ces. Thus,rtfoUows that the neo-popuUst strategy is to repudiate the extant socioeconomic and sociopoUtical system as serving the special interests of the few. FinaUy, the popuUst strategy entaUs a claim to genuine democracy and egalrtarianism The popuUst strategy of mobUization of "resentment" is the most distinct feature of NPPs (Betz 1993). NPPs may share with the old extremerightdisdain for estabUshed parties, the poUtical class, immigrants, refugees, and foreigners. However, unlike fascists, the NPPs support free markets and the caprtaUst system According to some scholars, any winning coaUtion for NPPs should entail an emphasis on neo-Uberal economics (Kitschelt 1995). However, a closer analysis reveals that a productivist and entrepreneurial ethos circumscribes the neo-Uberal stram. This in tiun explains why NPPs generally favor free market sohitions, but oppose the encroachment of the global economy. Therefore, the apparent contradiction between "economic nationaUsm" and neo-UberaUsm is resolved, since the NPPs actuaUy support a petit bourgeois caprtaUsm.


The goaL therefore, is to bridge the working class and petrt bourgeois voters. who are generally on opposhag sides poUtically. By raising concems about the viabiUty of the welfare state, the føiraess of bureaucracies, the conceras over high taxes, and the growing anxiety over change associated with multicuhural society, the neo-popiUists attempt to appeal to a broader electorate than economic Uberals, extremists, or Poujadists could have. Targets and PoUcieSw NPPs' popuUst strategies include targeting a number of groups within coimtries. In particular, the NPPs oppose the "poUtical class," which includes the estabUshed poUtical parties,rightand left. Further, the NPPs target the administrative bureaucracies and their "cUents," wdiich refers to the social groups relying on socialrightsto gain access to pubUc fimding. These groups supposedly consume the fiaiits of labor of the majority. In response, NPPs advocate poUcies that would undermine the power of the poUtical class and bureaucracies. Thus, they caU for lower taxes, aboUtion of subsidies, físcal cuts, and privatization. Particular targets vary, dependmg upon the setting. In the U.S. neo-popuUsts, variably defíned to include the coUectively dubbed New Christian Right want to do away with affmnative action poUcies (Weinberg 1997). In North Italy the target is the government m Rome and its apparent southera cUentele. Advocacy of plebiscite and referenda, in tura, promote the wUl of the popular masses at the expense of the special interests. Hence, the NPPs claim to be bona fíde democrats. Exteraal enemies and targets mclude interaationalfínanciersand bankers, financial markets and muhinational corporations, aU of \^^ich tend to negatively impact


smaU business owners. The EU bureaucracy may also be singled out among European NPPs. In response, the NPPs push for protectionism and reregulation of markets. This "economic nationalism" (Capling 1997) betrays any neo-Uberal fø^ade. The mamstream right, in promoting globalization, has in some cases lost support among more nationalist voters and the economicaUy insecure. Some enemies are both exteraal and mteraaL These include immigrants, who supposedly deprh e locals of jobs, put downward pressure on wages, and tend to abuse the country's welfare s> stem Immigration seems to be an issue taUor made for NPPs. Not only can NPPs exploit economic anxiety. but they can also reach out to more xenophobic. racist \ oters, as weU as the nationalist vote. NPPs m Europe generaUy oppose the ELTs common asylum and immigration poUcies, and, thus, cooperation in the fíelds of justice and home affairs more generaU>. Thus immigration becomes both an interaal and exteraal issue to e?q)lort. This is a typical target for countries, such as German>, that attract many immigrants and refiigees, economic and poUticaL from poorer countries of the global south. Conceras that open borders wiU increase Ulegal immigration, as estabUshed through Europe's Schengen Treaty, are grist to the mUls of NPPs. In other cases, such as in Australia or Canada, where the immigrants are relativelyricher,the resentment is different. Here the NPPs complain that immigrants drive up real estate prices. Further, NPPs may explort the immigration issue on cultiu"al groimds, arguing that heterogenerty or multicuhural society comes at the e?q)ense of cultural heritage and identity. This is a more xenophobic prtch, but coupled with economic arguments works weU for some


NPPs. It is únportant to highUght, though, that the NPPs are usuaUy careflil to avoid making any biological arguments vis-a-vis race and immigration. NPPs wiU tend to argue that cultural mcompatibiUties make multicultural society a bad fít, and that h is rather democratic not to assimUate people of foreign cuhures. The NPPs response to immigration is to advocate curtailing immigration and passing stricter poUtical asylum laws so as to limit the numbers of refiigees. Needless to say, such an argument is not very convhicing to many voters, and in some countries the aUiance against xenophobic nativism is quite strong. Opponents of the National Front in France are qurte vocal m theh- vigilance, sometimes dismpting the party's pubUc activities. In most countries, the NPPs, regardless of their avowed democratic values, are treated as poUtical pariahs. In Norway, for instance, wiiere the Progress Party emerged as the second largest party in the legislatiu"e, the NPP is rejected by other parties as a potential coaUtion partner.

Accounting for Success and Failure of NPPs Below I expand on factors that should explain successes and faUures, as weU as the sources of popular appeal for NPPs. First we tiun our attentions to factors that we might expect to account for the success of NPPs. Since I argue that neo-popuUst parties are actuaUy heterogeneous coaUtions of deaUgned voters, the success of such parties is based upon an abiUty to maintain such heterogeneous support. Whereas we might assume that deaUgned and estranged voters exist m aU party systems, the question is how some parties mobilize this latent support whereas others fail.


For this purpose it is useful to analyticaUy differentiate interaal (i.e.. organizational) factors from exteraal factors. I argue that successfijl NPPs tend to ha\ e a centralized stmcture and leadership. This aUows the partyfreedomto shift part> platforms to broaden popular appeal without the considerable procediu'al entanglements faced by mainstream parties. Less successfîil NPPs seem to be either plagued by factionaUsm or are too committed to particular party platforms. It remains an open question, however, as to how to classLfy these parties in terms of their intemal stmctures. I briefly explore ways to reconcUe the New Social Movements Uteratiu^e with NPP organizational dynamics. Extemal factors are numerous, but may be surmnarized with reference to particular poUtical opportunity stmctures facing new parties. Below I discuss the var>ing poUtical opportunity stmctures facing NPPs. PoUtical opportunity stmctures help explam how small parties, which are otherwise at a distinct disadvantage according to resource mobUization theory, can at times explort opportunrties. Every NPP faces a different opportimity stmctiu"e, given the variance in party systems and cleavage stmctures. Aside from the extant electoral system, NPPs' opportunities are often constramed by the responses of other parties m the party system SpecificaUy the reaction of the mamstream right parties is significant. In some countries, such as the UiUted States and Britain, the mamstream right, aided by pluraUty electoral systems, had co-opted some of the popuUst issues associated with the anxiety brought about by post-industrial, global economics. In other coimtries, however, therighthas not been able to prevent a crossover of voters to the NPPs.


It is difficult to ascertain to w^at degree intemal and extemal factors mdependently impact the success of particular NPPs. GeneraUy, though, I argue that successful NPPs tend to be those that are centralized and therefore capable of shifting programmatic priorities to broaden electoral appeal, and face a fortuhous poUtical opportimity stmctiu-e where mainstream parties faU to co-opt popuUst issues for a variety ofreasons. Interaal Factors Explaining Success: Organizational. Not aU parties have the same resources or capabiUties or stmctiu'es to successfuUy mobUize resentment. Successful NPPs, almost without exception, have been led by dominant leaders. That is. a single individual has been at the helm and strongly associated wrth the movement and party. In this respect, these parties seem to hark back to the fascist parties of the interwar period. When one thinks of the National Front, the image of Jean-Marie Le Pen is mescapable. This is also tme of the FPO's Haider, the Northera League's BossL and the Reform Party's Manning. These mdividuals are best thought of as poUtical entrepreneurs. By contrast, unsuccessful NPPs often lack a dommant leadership. Interaal divisions and factionaUsm restrict poUtical and programmatic dnection, which otherwise might be geared towards maximizing support. The charismatic leaders of NPPs seem to have this m common. In Sweden, for mstance, the co-founders of the New Democracy parties abandoned the party shortly after secvuing parUamentary seats m 1992, and the party virtuaUy vanished. SimUar divisions and lack of leadership seem to plague parties in Denmark.


hi congmence with leadership. successftil NPPs tend to have a centralized organizational stmcture. That is, they exhibrt an organization unlike that of the bureaucratic "catch-all" mainstream parties, as weU as that of the loosely organized "framework" parties (Le., New Left green parties). A centraUzed stmctiu'e aUows NPPs to shift poUcy course very quickly, without the bureaucratic entanglements of the "catchaU" parties. The top-down process entaUs little mteraal debate, aUowing the leadership to focus on new issues, constituencies and new opportunities. There is evidence that NPPs have been successflil in this regard. For instance, although the National Front today is viituaUy synonymous with immigration, the original party platform never even mentioned immigrants. Similarly, the ItaUan Northera League has oscUlated on free trade, sometimes UberaL at other times, protectionist. The Northera League has also shifted from a focus on Uberal economics to immigration, especiaUy after losing economic appeal to the Forza ItaUa party in the early to mid 1990s. In this case, the Northera League has changed course so as to regam credibUity amongrtscore supporters at the expense of a more popuUst pitch. On the other hand, the centralized, dominant leadership model is a UabiUty insofar as the movement and party may die along with the founder. AnecdotaUy we may note the current power stmggle withm France's National Front. Bruno Mégret, the acknowledged mteUectual leader of the Front, had been attemptmg to push the older Jean-Marie Le Pen oirt of the pictiu-e. Mégret wants to transform the Front mto a mamstream party, forgmg aUiances where possible, argumg that the Front's agenda needs more legrtimizing. The power stmggle between the two has led to a spUt in the part>' hi


1999, with Mégret leading a breakaway group. It was widely anticipated m early 1999 that the Front would lose votes to otherright-wingparties in the European elections of June 1999 as a resuh of the spUt. Exteraal Factors Explaining Success: Opportimity Stmctures. The success of an NPP cannot be understood without reference to the particular context within which rt must compete. Here I introduce the concept of pohtical opportunity stmctiu-es to summarize the extemal factors that constitute the varying contexts. The Uterature on poUtical opportunrty stmctures derivesfromresource mobilization theory. Opportunrt> stmctures, including the electoral and party system in a given country. help accoimt for when and where smaU parties can achieve relative electoral successes. given that ceteris paribus smaUer parties are at a decided disadvantage in terms of resources requisite to mobilize voters. Resource mobilization, Uke new social movement theory, attempts to account for a rise in "uncon\'entional" poUtical participation, including demonstrations and student protests that were becoming more common by the 1960s. In that sense neither theor> captiu-es the real essence of NPPs, since voting is a conventional form of poUtical behavior. Yet, NPPs have been known to support of civU protest, sometimes organizing raUies that caU for radical systemic changes. Umberto Bossi's Northem League is qurte notorious m this regard, especiaUy diuing his campaign aU along the Po vaUey promoting an mdependent "Padania." Further, there is some empirical evidence suggesting that NNP supporters are more likely protesters than are mainstreamrightparty voters. In that sense, NPPs are part of a new poUtics. But can they be accoimted for via RM?


Resource mobUization theory suggests that party s> stems exist in dynamic exchange (Kitscheh 1989), and that existmg parties not only reposrtion themseK es m poUtical space, but that opportimrties exist for new parties to emerge. We might argue, therefore, that the NPPs are unique in their abUrty to mobilize resentment, given burgeoning poUtical aUenation from extant institutions. One might argue, therefore, that the green parties and NPPs have much in common, in that the> both are parties of a new opposrtion, but that they thri\^e depending upon different contexts. NPPs should succeed where the system affect is relatively low, and where dealignment is widespread. There is no doubt that this was the case in Italy foUowmg 1992. Indeed, the Northera League's mobilization messages seem to support the theor>. The League generally rejected class divisions in Northera Italy, instead emphasizing the common work ethic, or commrtment to work {voglia di lavorare) that Northemers aipposedly share. In congmence with this popuUst message, the League also distanced itself from the poUtical system and poUticians, expressing suspicion towards poUtical acti\ ity. However. there are cases where system affect is generaUy high, yet NPPs have been fairly successfiil. Perhaps the best example is Norway, wiiere the Progress Part>' has prospered, 15% of the national vote in 1997 elections, making h the second largest part>' in the Stortinget (assembly), in an electorate that is otherwdse generaUy efificacious and optimistic, relative to the ItaUans. GraduaUy, though , Norwegians have had to come to terms with falling oU prices, Norways primary source of income. and questions about Norway's relationship with the Eiu-opean Union. and more recently immigration. As mainstream parties have been divided on these issues, the Progress Party has mobilized


voters who are less consensus oriented than Norwegians as a whole, and caU for libertarian and populist answers to some of these problems. Therefore the alienation from the poUtical system is not an absolute factor but a relative one. Norwegians may be generally supportive of their poUtical system, but this support may be more tentative among certain segments of the population than it once was. Aside from a trend towards deaUgnment among electorates, electoral and poUtical factors should also play significant roles in the relative successes and failures among NPPs. The party system, of coiu"se, consists not only of system affect, but also of competing parties, circumscribed by electoral mles and a number of barriers to resource access. Legal barriers to party system access are perhaps the most troubling hurdle for NPPs in Germany. The German State makes such distinctions in law. PoUtical parties are subject to the approval of the Verfassumgsschutz, which watches over and bans extremist parties, known as verfassungswidrig (unconstitutional) parties, as opposed to simply radical parties {verfassungfeitidlich). For histance, the Republikatier of Germany were estabUshed as a splinter partyfromthe CSU, and untU 1992 were merely considered "radical" by the German authorities, but have smce been reclassified as "extremist" and subject to legal restrictions. Needless to say, this has had a bad affect on the party's electoral forttmes as of late. In other countries the electoral system is highly favorable. In Norway, where minority coaUtion govemments are the norm, smaU parties benefit from virtuaUy pure


proportional representation and a very low electoral barrage for parUamentary seats (4% of the national vote). In Denmark the required share is even lower, at 2%. Elsewhere, though, barriers may have been related to the electoral system Britam, vdiich does not have a successfiil NPP, is a two-party system, and there is reason to assume that the pluraUty laws that govem the British electoral system hurt the chances of aU small parties. However, if this were such a debiUtating factor, there are a number of questions that must be raised with respect to the success of the National Front in France, desphe adverse electoral laws. Although the National Front benefited from proportional laws instituted for the 1986 elections, these laws have since been retracted. Yet, the National Front's popularity and electoral strength has increased in the intervening period. Therefore, the electoral system may be a serious constraint, but may not be a determining factor. The National Front's longevity despite lack of access to power suggests not only dealignment but a degree of conviction among supporters that cannot be explained away as a protest vote. Another Une of investigation is to focus on the particular dynamics of respective party systems. Are NPPs "anti-system" and by implication extremist parties? ff so we might venture that polarized poUtical party systems were more likely candidates for NPP success. Giovanni Sartori, for instance, once suggested that party systems could be differentiated on the basis of whether they were centrifugal or centripetal (1976). That is, was there a strong polrtical center, or were parties driven to extremes wiien posrtioning themselves in ideological space, jostUng for support? Anti-system parties might be particularly common where the party system's center is no-man's land. Indeed, the ItaUan


party system, especially between the end of World War 11 and 1992. had been known as a "polarized" system. For years the Christian Democrats conspned to de\'ise means to keep the Communists out of power. Italy, of course, has been an outUer. in thatrthas always had a party system characterized byfragmentationand short-Uved, unstable coalhion goveraments. We might argue that the Northera League be explained in these terms. However, this stUl does not explam why the MSI faUed during the Cold War to make an\ inroads desprte the prevalence of a polarized system. Nor doesrthelp describe the rise of an NPP in France. The National Front also runs as a poUtical outsider against the mainstream parties of the poUtical center. How do we account for the prominence of an NPP m this context'!' Part of the answer has to do with the nature of the mainstream. centerrightparties in respecti\'e countries. The question is w^ether old, estabUshed parties allow NPPs to explort popuUst issues. The response of established parties to the neo-popuUst chaUenge appears to be an important factor. GeneraUy there are three t>pes of response: exclusion. inclusion, and co-option. Exclusion seems to be the most effective responsefromthe vantage point of mainstream parties. By excluding an "extremist" party the mainstream parties attempt to discredrt the agenda of the new party. However. it is often the case that mainstream parties faU to exclude NPPs for electoral reasons, especially m muhiparty systems. In France. for instance. wiiere the mainstreamrightis divided,rthas been expedient for some otherwise mainstream parties and poUticians to aUy themselvesfromtime to time wrth the National Front. Toda> there is great pressure among the ranks of the mainstream


right to join forces with the Front, since without the Front vote the Socialists have been dominating therightat the poUs. Even if the Front fades electoraUy, the mainstream right would stUl be divided on how to appeal to former Front voters. Inclusion, though, can be a treacherous choice. The stigma of association wrth the Front is greater today than hi the past because of the electoral inroads the National Front has made at the expense of the RPR and UDF over the past fifteen or so years. In other words, it may be precisely because the traditionalrightdid not effectively ostracize the Front inrtsearly years that it hasrisento prominence,rivalingthe RPR as the biggest right-wing party in France. Co-option is a tactic that may also work to prevent votersfromcasting votes in favor of the NPP, but it may also have the unhitended consequence of legitimizmg the agenda of the NPP. In that sense, it is similar to inclusion. However, in some countries co-optation has been easier than in others. For instance, in Germany the farrightvote tends to regional, more concentrated in the conservative Land of Bavaria. The federal stmcture of Germany and the strength of the CSU m Bavaria, the sister party of the CDU, has madertdifficuh for extremists to chaUenge the mamstream right. After then defeat in the 1998 election, the CDU/CSU movedfiutherinto farrightterritory, co-opting the immigration issue more openly m rejecting the goverament's plans for instituting dual citizenship in Germany. The trick for the mainstreamrightseems to be to co-opt the popuUst conceras through Euro-skepticism and economic nationaUsm, but the danger is in the temptation to appeal to xenophobia and anti-immigrant sentiment.


Factors Explammg Partisan Choice One of the preemhient questions that the study of electoral behavior attempts to address is partisan choice. Our particular question here is whatføctorsinfluence the choice to vote for an NPP? The Uterature review below identifies two general approaches that we can take to answer this question: cultural and rationaL Over the years the basis of electoral choice in democratic coimtries has apparently varied. As one scholar puts it, "an isomorphism seems to exist between theories of partisan choice and theories of changing patteras of mobiUzation" of voters (Baraes 1997, p. 123). As mobilization has shifted from social cleavages, to poUtical mobilization, and most recently to cognitive mobUization, partisan identifications ha\ e become less stable. Scholars often refer to this as a process of deaUgnment. At one time, particularly in Europe, societal cleavages and institutions were very significant and the primary basis of partisan identities. However, over time secularization and the difihision of education has rendered many of these cleavages defimct. According to one theory cognitive mobilization plays an increasingly important role in mobUization and partisan choice. The choice to vote and who to vote for is increasingly atomized. It is unclear, though, as to wiiether this vote is based on rationaUsm, hence a calculation of interests, or whether poUtical identities, albert of individual "constmction" are estabUshed (Melucci 1989). That is, we caimot say with certitude that the process of deaUgnment leads to issue voting, or whether there is any e^'idence of partisan reaUgnment among the electorates of various industrial democracies


(see Andeweg 1982: Crewe and Denver 1985; Dahon, Flanagan and Beck 1984: Zelle 1995). Although this question wUl not be answered in the nearfiiture,scholars are now obUged to take issues and efforts to mobilize more seriously than in the past According to John Zaller. eUtes may stUl dominate opinion formation, but divisions among them aUow for aheraative \ iews to gain visibiUty. The pubUc's response to these divisions is circumscribed by the saUence of the issues (ZaUer 1992. p. 40-52). Since parties appear to have ad\ antages on different issues, the key is to focus the campaign on favorable issues, and thus define the agenda (Budge and FarUe, 1983). The role of the media in poUtical campaigns is also growing (Swanson and Mancini 1996: Ansolabehere. Behr. and lyengar 1993). This shift has been prompted by the apparent decline in the "learning model" of poUtical socialization associated with the Michigan school (Converse 1969). The learaing model is essentiaUy a cuhural explanation of partisanship. The model developed the concept of partisan identification for an American electorate that lacked the social partisanship e\ ident m Europe. Atfirstthe model was considered generally appropriate for Europe, as weU (Kaase 1976). Howe\ er. enfranchisement of women in Switzerland, wdiere partisan identifications were unexpectedly high (Niemi et aL 1985). and deaUgnment in various countries, including countries like Britain where partisan loyahies were highly stable (Abramson 1992), contradicted the model. The learning model could be reconcUed wrth the various studies that foimd variation among age cohorts. hence generational e\idence of partisanship (Inglehart 1977. 1990).


However, recent events are more damaging to the leaming model (Baraes 1997). In some established party systems, major parties have disintegrated. Among these are the Christian Democrats and SociaUsts in Italy; the decline of the UCD, which led Spain diuing the transrtion to democracy, the near coUapse of the Canada's Progressive Conservatives who stiU have not recoveredfromthe 1993 elections. The instabiUty these cases represent does not fit easily with the learaing model. There are ways to account for instability, such asføctoringintensity and critical events into the modeL thus accounting for the secular, intergenerational decrease in partisan intensity (Beck 1974; Pierce 1995). Nonetheless, the net result of the contradictions has opened the door for rational choice based model aheraatives. Rational models tend to emphasize the saUence of issues over psychological identification and position in cleavage stmctures. Anthony Down's An Economic Theory ofDemocracv (1957) represents this shift m focus towards the rational actor. Some scholars foUowed his lead in spatial modeling (Stokes, 1963; Enelow and Hinich 1990: Grofínan 1993). The notion that actors rationaUy chose parties based on then preferences, and, indeed, that parties chose then respective posrtions, with reference to poUtical space, became a common way to imderstand partisanship. Directional models have chaUenged the early spatial models, m an effort to account for the appeal of extremist parties (Rabmowitz and MacDonald 1989; MacDonald, Rabmowdtz and Listhaug 1995). Some rationaUsts also tried to account for mstabiUty m partisan identifications. Instead of a socialization process, voters may be keeping a nmning account, evaluating


the performance of a party in defending the individual's interests retrospectively (Fiorina 1981). Economic performance is obviously the most tangible output, so scholars have tried to assess the degree to which partisan choice is influenced by economic conceras. To the surprise of scholars, "sociotropic" voting, voting on the general economic performance, rather than "pocketbook" voting, voting on how performance affects the individuaL seems to be the norm (Kinder and Kiewet 1981; Lewis-Beck 1988). However, rational models have not displaced cultiu-al explanations entirely. Although deaUgnment as measured my partisan identification ma> be waning, there is evidence that ideology stUl matters. Voters seem to have "tendencies" to continue to vote for either parties of the ideological left or the ideological right. Measured in terms of a ten point scale in Europe. and as UberaUsm-conservatism in the United States, left-right orientations are seemingly quite stable in most countries (Converse and Pierce 1986; Baraes, McDonough and Lopez Pina 1985), although there is some evidence of a secular shift to the left (Baraes 1991). The idea is that pohtical debate, hence issues, are fihered and ordered through the left-right tendency (Knutsen 1995). Desprte the apparent stabUhy, some issues seem to fit the conventional left-right continuum uneasily. Hence the cleavage between working class interests, as expressed as concera for jobs, economic seciuity, and welfare versus the interests of a New Left, which includes the environment, peace and disarmament, multiculturaUsm and individual rights. Fiuther, the Uterature now acknowledges the significance of a "New Right," as weU, conceraed with poUtical and economic nationaUsm, anti-immigration, and popuUsm (BUlietanddeWittel995).


Some have asserted that vahie change can account for these apparent ideological cleavages. Notably Ronald Inglehart (1977, 1990) has tried to Unk the proenvironmentaUst movement, the New Left and the Green parties wrth post-materiaUst values more common among younger generations. However, there is reason to beUeve that other cultural identities are also saUent, leading possibly to a revival of "questions of identhy; national, ethnic, and others" (Baraes 1997, p. 130). Factors Explaining NPP Appeal. We then must address the question as to which theory best accoimts for the rise of neo-popuUst parties (NPPs). There can be Uttle doubt that the choice to vote for an NPP is indicative of deaUgnment. However, the specific reasons to vote may be rational or affective. The neo-popiUist perspective assumes that the impetus to vote for an NPP may be eclectic. yet it singles out system disaffect as a primary motivation. Therefore, the motivation to vote for an NPP should not be primarily rational, but culturaL This disaffect is buttressed by lower than average poUtical effîcacy and less societal mtegration m traditional mobilizmg stmctures of the old poUtics, mcludmg reUgious institutions. Cultural theories tend to assume a degree of homogenerty, especiaUy the social cleavages modeL as the basis of a cuhiu-al vote. NPPs are not homogeneous. However, NPPs do try to mobilize support on the basis of identrty, even if at times contrived. In some cases there are efforts to create new poUtical identrties as the primary afiBliation for supporters.


Most notably the Northera League of Italy has tried to rewrite history with reference to a "Padania." The strategy seems to be to buUd upon the tendency among ItaUans to identify as strongly, if not stronger, with local symbols as they do with national symbols. This effort may not be especially successfliL but Northera ItaUans do seem to recognize the saUence of regional differences in Italy. The Soitíh, Itaiys Mezzogiortio, is often a target of scora and resentment. The transfer of wealthfromthe mdustrious North to the less productive South is an issue that resonates with many in the North. Similarly other NPPs also tend to reject various aspect of the dominant poUtical identrties. The popuUst strategy is to mobilize the "people" on the basis of shared enemies. This impUes that the hnpetus behmd the choice to vote for an NPP could be influenced by cultural factors, albeit negatively e?q)ressed. System disaffection may be a growing trend in electoral poUtics, and could be a normative concera. The neo-popuUst perspective links the growing disaffection for the party system and the rise of NPPs. The theory is that the mainstreamrighthas become increasingly indistinguishable from the left. That is, it may not be the polarized nature of the party system, but the transition of parties from "mass" parties to "catch-aU" parties, and even to "cartel" parties (Katz and Mair 1995; Lawson 1988) that is the wind to the saUs of NPPs. As parties drop "ideological baggage", a la Kirchheimer, traditional social identities are less of a mobilizing factor. Party competition, technological changes and the avaUabiUty of new resources drive the stmctiu-al transformation of parties. Party competition is in fact more formidable since parties are competing for identical segments of society. The mainstream parties become more independent of society through a stream


of public resources. Through this arrangement they are bolstered against electoral misfortunes. "[Mainstream parties] gain independence through voluntary contributions and party activism for canq^aigns, communication, and organLzational survival" (ImmerfaUl998, p.253). Voters, however, feel less distmction between parties, and this means less voter loyahy towards traditional parties. Some argue that a "crisis of conservatism" whereby the traditional right alUances with the social democratic left m govemment and on a number of poUcy issues undermines traditionalrightparty loyahies (Mayer and Kaymak, forthcoming). In countries where the mainstream, tradrtionalrightis divided, as in France, the NPPs seem to have a distinct advantage in claiming the mantle of the right. In the late 1990s the traditional Frenchrightwere e?q)eriencing a crisis along these lines. It is, of course, diÊficult to say to wdiat degree NPPs draw supporters through spatial criteria, since the Downsian perspective may require signifîcant cognizant skiUs (Downs 1957; Herstehi 1981). Given the prevalence of what could be characterized as charismatic leadership among successflil NPPs we might speculate as to whether candidate appraisals are signifîcant in Ueu of other votmg cues (Rahn, Aldrich. Borgida and SuUivan 1990). PoUtical disaffection manifestsrtselfin lowpoUtical efiBcacy, and lowtmst of institutions, perhaps resulting in protest. It may even posit a threat to domestic stabUity. A combination of poUtical inefficacy (powerlessness) and distmst (normlessness) may be a predictor of withdrawal from conventional poUtics (Finifter 1970). The problem is distinguishing between partisan disaffection and system disaffection (Flanagan and


Richardson 1980). It is possible to confiise one for the other. smce partisans of the opposhion may register high negatives when queried on then attrtude towards the incumbent govemment. Therefore, system affect, sometimes referred to as legitimacy. should be linked not only to tmst in goverament, but also to other less partisan societal institutions (McDonough, Baraes and Pena 1994). By impUcation, NPP supporters should generally express less tmst in certain institutions, mcluding the press and civil service. NPPs can also take advantage of the growing social aUenation in certain pockets of society. Inadequate poUtical efificacy coupled with less societal integration seems to be a haUmark of many NPP supporters in France (Mayer 1998), as weU as in the Netherlands (Fennema and TiUie 1994, p.9). Republikaner supporters in Germany seem to have fewer fiiends than non-supporters (Falter 1994, p. 124). Few ties to the church or unions also differentiate NPP supporters, with the exception of the American Christian Right (Verba, Schlozman and Brady 1995). An interesting question is how this poUtical disaffection impacts behaviors. On the one hand, we might anticipate that the disaffection is channeled into voting for NPPs, which on the face of h is conventional. In this scenario, despite system disaffect, it may be that the authoritarian disposition of NPP voters discourages radical, unconventional behaviors (Flanagan and Lee 1987), We might therefore predict that NPP supporters are no more or less likely to engage in protest poUtics than mamstreamrightvoters given this predisposrtion. On the other hand, an apparent diÊRision of imconventional "actionism" may make some NPP supporters, especiaUy younger cohorts, increasingly likely to


engage in unconventional activities, albert at lower rates than New Left partisans (Watts 1990). We might inferfromthe foregoing that NPP supporters are less easily distinguished through social cleavages than are supporters of other parties, especiaUy in Europe. For instance, the reUgious cleavage traditional dividingrightfromleft in Italy should faU to reach significance in a con^arison of Northem League voters to other voters in the ItaUan system What should primarUy distinguish these votersfromothers, aside from economic anxieties, are issues. Issue voting is prevalent among Independents in the American context where partisan identification has been m relative decline as a predictor of vote (Nie, Verba and Pterocik 1976; Downs 1957: Rabinowrtz and MacDonald 1989). In the context of NPP vote determinants, European or otherwise, we might anticipate that saUent issues, especiaUy immigration, stand out as significant factors explaining NPP appeaL However, we might fiuther anticipate that the impetus behind the issue voting relates to a general trend among NPP voters to have relativel> low system affect. The question, therefore, is the degree to which anti-immigration mteracts with other predictors or is an mdependent variable mrtsown right. However, h is likely that various non-NPP voters may also be characterized as anti-immigrant. ff so, the question becomes why the saUence of the issue is more significant for NPP voters. A more rationaUst explanation of NPP appeal is the phenomenon of economic voting. Economic inseciuTty may motivate an individual to vote for an NPP. The "losers of modemization" are the most likely reservoir of supporters for NPPs. These people tend to be male, lack higher education, are employed as blue-coUar workers in the pri\ ate


sector, and Uve in cities. It is not necessarUy among the unemployed that economic anxiety is greatest, but rather among those who fear imemployment (Immerfall 1996). That is, it is not based on actual experience. In short, NPP supporters are economic pessimists. The advent of post-mdustrial society has brought withrtthe perennial problem of imemployment and social dislocations, and there is reason to beUeve that the widening gap between rich and poor increases anxiety. We might venture to speculate that the xenophobic reaction of the economicaUy insecure to immigration stemsfroma perception of conq)etition. Economic voting tends to be explained in terms of psychological and rational factors, in Ueu of other voting cues. That is, especiaUy in the European context, we might constme economic voting to be indicative of deaUgnment trends (Dahon, Flanagan and Beck 1984). My expectation here is that given the aUeged fear or anxiety among NPP voters the economic factor entaUs expectations about the fiiture, although retrospectK e assessments of past macroeconomic performance may influence this pessimism (LewisBeck 1988). It fiuther stands to reason, given anxiety over the fiitiu'e that the pessimism stems from sociotropic considerations as opposed to personalfinancialsatisfaction. The latter is somethnes referred to as "pocketbook" voting (Markus 1988). GeneraUy, though, NPP supporters should more likely be economic voters than other party supporters in respective countries.


Bases of NPP versus Extremist and New Right Appeal. TheNPPperspective differs on its expectations with regard to soiu-ces of appeal wrth the other cultural theories; extremist and new poUtics perspectives. The extremist appeal should be ideological. That is, extreme party voters should be expected to manifest an extremeright ideological profile as measured by the left-right ideological tendency variables in most surveys. Further, extremists should be anti-systemic. Extremists might be expected to be especially racist, and anti-immigrant, or otherwise xenophobic. Although the extremist Uterature and NPP perspective agree that anti-Unmigration and xenophobia may be good predictors of the vote, the perspectives part paths in that the former attributes the appeal to an anti-systemic, hence anti-democratic ideology. The new poUtics perspective conceives a New Right appeaL which should be based on a materiaUstic predisposition, as measured by Inglehart's (1990) measures often included in surveys. Further, as a reaction to the New Left agenda, New Right voters should be hostUe towards environmental issues. Although the new poUtics and NPP perspectives share an appreciation forthe impact of "critical" events on partisanship, the new poUtics approach emphasizes the student protests of 1968, w^ereas the NPP approach links the rise of neo-popuUsts to the less distinct changes in the global economy ofthelatel970s. The NPP perspective, thus, conceptualizes the appeal of an ideal NPP as a protest vote that is affective, as opposed to economically rational. EmpiricaUy, however, it is very likely that economic insecurities, hence rational factors, do play a role. Therefore, concems for job security and fear of corr^etrtion should help predict the NPP \'ote. The


question is whether NPP appeal is a product of economic inseciuity, indicative of issue voting, in wiiich case the appeal is more rationaL or wliether NPP voters suffer from system disaffect, which is more cuhural. There is consensus among scholars and empirical evidence that successfijl NPPs appeal to heterogeneous groups (Betz 1994; Kitscheh 1995). These include extremists, neo-Uberals, racists, pensioners, evangeUcals, and the economicaUy insecure "losers of modemization." However, asidefromthe constituents of Canada's Reform Party, NPP supporters are imderrepresented in nu-al areas. That is, the NPPs are urban parties. This disparate coaUtion conflicts with the unsuccessflil parties that appear to appeal onh to core supporters, aUenating aU others in the process. Therefore, an ideal NPP is one that strives to attract supportfrommany groups, emphasizing common enemies. The social bases of appeal should be disparate if we are talking about a bona fide neo-popuUst party. I have argued that NPPs without broad appeal tend to be restricted to a core of more ideologically committed, extremists. This, after aU, is what I posrted primarUy distinguishes an NPP from an extremist or neo-fascist party. Neo-popuUst parties are not part of a revoh against cuhiu-al UberaUsm per se, or a cultural backlash as some scholars have suggested (Lipset 1981). NPP supporters appear to be ambivalent on moral and cultural issues (ImmerfaU 1998). This is not terribly surprising considering that they are not regular church attendees. Even in the U.S., home of the Christian Right, supporters of Ross Perot and Pat Buchanan imply a non-reUgious, secular popuUsm. Although NPP supporters place themseK esrightof center on the


ideological spectmm, high standard deviations suggests that they are not as ideologically coherent as New Left or neo-fascist supporters. The issues that mobUize support for NPPs are disparate, asidefromimmigration, which seems to be common to NPPs. Ahhough NPP supporters are often at odds wrth New Left supporters on an number of issues, it is questionable as to whether we should attribute this to value change (Minkenberg and Inglehart 1989; Ignazi 1996). A general indifference towardsttaditionalvalues suggests otherwise. In any case, correlations between New Left and neo-popuUst parties faUs to explain large differences in support for NPPs in different settings, such as the disparity between NPPs in Austria and Switzerland (Helms 1997, p.46). It is diffîcuh to explain why Germany has a thriving New Left party and Norway a successftil NPP. Therefore the bottom line is that what uhimately separates the successfiil NPPfromthe unsuccessfiil Ues in party competition and the abUity of poUtical entrepreneurs to mobiUze support given extant poUtical opportunity stmctures.

Critique The neo-popuUst perspective's advantage is thatrtaccounts not only for the success or faUures of various "extremeright"parties of the "third wave," but for the rise of other new parties that do not fit easUy into the other cross-national explanations put forth. That is,rthelps account for parties that are generaUy ignored by the extremism Uterature, m particular, and helps classify parties that do not appear to be re^onses to the New Left. The neo-popiUist parties emerge in a context of post-industrial poUtics, where


the decline in the "social democratic consensus" opens opportunhies for parties that oppose globalization, immigration, a perceived break down in law and order, and economic dislocations. Howe\er. this approach runs into a number of diffîcuhies. The perspecti\e might be accused of being too eclectic, and the concept of popuUsm too broad. Further. the classifîcation of neo-popuUst parties ma> be too inclusive. since deaUgnment and neopopiUism are not mutuaUy exclusi\ e. In an attempt not onl> to classifS' new parties, but to account for successes and faUures. as weU as to analyze the soiu"ces of electoral appeaL the neo-popuUst perspective deals with different theoretical approaches and le\ els of analysis. It may therefore be too eclectic. and not necessarily mutuaUy exclusi\ e with other perspecti\ es. By comparison, the extremist perspecti\ e focuses primaril> on part>' ideology and secondly on part> s>'Stems. Of course. the extremist Uterature isrtselfeclectic, sincertmust borrow from the new poUtics Uterature in order to account forthe \ariation in ideology between the "second" (neo-fascist) and "third" wa\ e (anti-system, extremist) parties. hence then respecti\ e level of electoral successes. The new poUtics perspecti\ e also sets for rtself the task of classiíÂing the new parties, sortis also more focused on linking the New Right ideology (i.e., metapoUtics) to the re^ective party programs. The neo-popuUst perspective downplays the "fascist" origins of the new parties. and challenges the new poUtics perspective's assertion that "New Right" parties shoiUd be understood in terms of an ideological re^onse to the New Leô. In response, the neopopuUst account pirts forth popiUism as an aheraatK e "ideological" factor. Howe\ er.


popuUsm is not an ideology per se, and is dUfîcult to operationalize. The neo-populist perspective explores and appUes the concept both to accoimt for NPP strategy and NPP appeaL thus utUizingrtat separate levels of analysis. At the party system leveL the popiUist perspective helps explain how NPPs differ from neo-&scist parties ideologicaUy and strategically, however it is not as expUcrt about wiiat ideologicaUy differentiates an NPPfroman anti-systemic party. Further, it does not discredit the new poUtics linkage between New Right ideology and New Right party platforms. The neo-popuUst perspective asserts that the avowed democratic ideals espoused by various NPPs raises serious questions with respect to the extremist account. At a micro-level the analysis of NPP appeal popuUsm is defîned as disaffection for govemment, as opposed to ideological in an extremist sense. Indeed, the extremism perspective does not do a good job of accounting for the appeal of some of the new parties that might be best characterized as heterogeneous. The disaffected should tend to vote for the new popuUst parties. However, even if this is empiricaUy valid, the disaffection may simply be hidicative of deaUgnment. This is not an issue that can be resolved in the short term By defauh the new parties are best characterized as "protest" parties. On the other hand, assuming that economic incentives, or otherwise rational criteria alone cannot account for the appeal of these parties, the neo-popuUst emphasis on cultural factors cannot be summarUy dismissed.


Summary of Cross-national Perspectives This chapter has surveyed the cross-national perspectives on the rise of what have variably been characterized as extremeright,New Right, or neo-popuUst parties. These were the extremist-continuhy, new poUtics, deaUgnment, and neo-popuUst theories. The extremist-continuity, new poUtics, and neo-popuUst approaches are different ways to account for the contentious poUtics of post-industrial society. As such, each represents a particular way of conceptuaUzmg poUtical conflict in the late twentieth century. The extremism-continuity perspective tries to Unk the "third wave" of right-wing extreme parties to an ideological archetype of fascism Newer parties, albeit no longer espousing corporatism and other vestiges of fascism, are nevertheless anti-democratic and anti-systemic parties. They are part of an ideological continuum, placing themselves at the farrightof the ideological spectmm and party system The new poUtics approach challenges the continuity thesis, arguing that poUtical aUgnments have sofrayedthat the heterogeneous appeal of New Right parties can only be accoimted for m terms of a restmcturing of the ideological cleavages in industrial democracies. These New Right parties are not anti-systemic, but rather an anti-modera and neo-conservative coaUtion of traditional conservative and left-of-center groups, responding to the New Left. The neo-popuUst perspective contradicts the new poUtics assertion that these new parties are best understood as a response to the New Left. The neo-popuUst perspective maintains that the mainstreamrighthad always been comprised of disparate coaUtions,


that over time the centerrighthas lost support, not only among "extremists," but that m some cases among economic Uberals and secular voters. Successfiil neo-popiUist parties have been those that have explorted this secular deaUgnment, emphasizing the resentments and perceived common enemies of the "people." Neo-popuUst explanations. thus, focus more expUcitly on the party system and electoral factors as keys to success than do the other cultural/ideological explanations. A default e?q)lanation for the new parties is dealignment. Since the neo-popuUst explanation includes dealignment it is not clear whether we should simply adhere to a more parsimonious theory. The new parties might simply be dismissed as a protest vote. However, the deaUgnment perspecti\ e cannot readUy account for the durabilit> of the vote for various new parties,rightor left-wing. The Green vote in Germany might seem nonsensical given the co-optation of various aspects of the party platform by the mainstream parties, yet the Greens maintain electoral support. This also seems to be the case in the support for the National Front in France. On balance this thesis argues that the neo-popuUst perspective helps account for the discrepancies evident in much of the Uterature. Fnst,rtis more inclusi\ e, aUowing for the analysis of some of the parties neglected by the extremism Uterature. Second, in focusing on electoral factors, the popuUst perspective parts paths wrth the more ideological per^ectives of extremism and new potitics. Instead of focushig on the conflict between the New Right and New Left, the focus here is on the intra-right conflict between the newer parties and older parties. Therefore, popuUsm is conceived as a response not only to the left but to the right, as weU.



In the previous chapter the NPP model suggested that the success of the neopopuUst parties depended upon a strategy of mobilizing popuUst resentments and a favorable poUtical opportunrty stmcture. I argued that centralized organizational stmctures and unifîed leadership seem to cohicide with the mobiUzation of resentment strategy, implying that parties without such stmctures and leadership often failed to pursue a popuUst strategy and wound up appealing to extremists or ideologues instead of a broader constituency. On the other hand, it might be the case that extemal factors, as summarized by the opportunrty stmctiu'e, play a more signifîcant role in constraining the relative successes of respective parties. Although the "success" of an NPP is linked tortsappeaL analytically success and appeal are distinct concepts. By success I mean the percentage of electoral votes garaered by a particular party, and by appeal I mean the factors that predict NPP support. This chapter deals with factors expected to predict electoral success or faUure.

Modeling Success Success is an admittedly relative term. For mamstream poUtical parties, such as the Christian Democrats m Germany, coming second to the Social Democrats at the poUs is deemed "faUure," smce they could be excluded from a goveming coaUtion. The standards of success are different for NPPs and smaU parties more generaUy. In fragmented. multi-party systems a party that secured even a relatively small percentage of


votes could be regarded as successfiil and even pohticaUy signifîcant. In fact, in Germany, the Greens secure less than 8% of the vote, but were part of the goveraing coaUtion after 1998. Therefore, success is contextuaL Nevertheless, for our purposes, the concept of success must be more tangible. Here I consider two factors: longevity and a signifîcant percentage of votes nationally. Longevrty refers to the abUity of a party to mamtam electoral strength over successive elections. There should not be much quarrel wdth that criteria. The second criterion might also have been phrased as seciuing seats in parUament, since this must be an objective among parties short of goveraing. Since many electoral systems discriminate against minor parties,rtis more appropriate to measure success in terms of stable electoral support, regardless of access to parUamentary representation. Inføct,it is fairly signifîcant that some supporters remain loyal to a party that cannot secure seats, or is openly discriminated agamst by mainstream parties for the purposes of electoral aUiances. The National Front of France is a case in point: the Front has secured a fairly consistent fifteen percent of electoral vote although effectively excludedfrompower. For the piuposes of this analysis, I wiU consider that parties have achieved longevity and electoral significance if they maintain support over at least two national elections, and secure at least ten percent of the national vote. Unsuccessflil parties, therefore, are aU those that have faUed on at least one count. They have either been one hit wonders, such as the New Democrats of Sweden, or they have never seciu-ed a signifîcant number of votes. The German RepubUcans are an example of the latter. The


question then is what factors seem to differentiate the successfiil from unsuccessful parties.

Methods In order to analyze the degree to w^ch interaal or exteraal factors impacted the fortunes of respective parties I wUl employ case study analyses. It is, of course, difificuh to generalize from cases, but theføctorsof concera, organization and strategy, and the role of poUtical opportimity stmctures cannot be ascertained through other means. In order to generalize the cases should beføirlyrepresentative of the population of NPP parties. It might even be preferable to include all NPPs for this piupose. Unfortunately, there is an ultimate tradeoff between breadth and depth of analysis. Therefore, here I have selected a subset of parties for analysis. These include parties that are successflil and unsuccessfiiL although I choose more successflil parties. The inclusion of imsuccessflil parties is employed as a controL The analysis is aided by the assessments of secondary sources on these fåctors. Each case study mcludes a brief history of the party, including an evaluation of rts electoral success. I then proceed to analyze various factors that are expected to account for the relative success or lack thereof These are divided mto intemal and extemal factors. Intemal factors include the stmctiu-e, divisions, and strategy. Stmctures are erther centralized or decentralized. Centralized stmctures are hierarchic, whereby the leadership has considerable autonomyfromthe party assembly, thus free to piusue


electoral strategies with Uttle input. Decentralized stmctures are more democratic, whereby the party leadership is constrained by the party assembly. The NPP model expectation would be that centraUzed stmctures are more Ukely to lead to success than decentralized stmctiu-es. It should be noted, however, that the extremist school would also expect that a centralized stmcture, reminiscent of the fåscist parties be consistent with success. Drvisions within the NPP can pose serious problems. Where the leadership of an NPP is at odds over strategy and a power stmggle takes place, such divisions should hurt the abiUty of an NPP to conq)ete for voters. GeneraUy, the more imified the party, the more likely it is to succeed. Cases are sorted as exhibiting low, moderate or high degrees of divisiveness. Cases are considered to be characterized by low divisiveness where there are few, if any, power stmggles and few debates about poUcy. Moderate divisiveness occurs where intra-party squabbles over poUcy manifest, but the schisms do not lead to spUnter parties or interaal coups. High divisiveness is def ned as a situation where personaUty conflicts and poUcy debates manifest in the division and splinter or the party. Similarly, NPPs might be at a disadvantage wdiere they must compete with other parties on similar issues. Therefore, NPPs that can monopoUze a given issue should fare better than parties that compete on simUar issues. NPP competrtion is considered low where a party does not føce corrq)etrtion on NPP issues such as immigration. Moderate NPP con^etrtion is wiiere other parties conq)ete on some a^ect of the NPP platform, jostling for some NPP supporters. Higli NPP conq)etition occurs when the NPP must compete against other NPPs or extremist parties for the same voters.


The NPP model assumes that strategicaUy NPPs should try to appeal not only to voters with extreme views, but to draw supportfroma cross-section of society, transcendmg traditional aUgnments. Parties may try to appeal to the entne population or to regional mterests for this purpose. Hence, parties may pursue nationaUst or regionaUst strategies. Regional strategies may be employed where center-periphery cleavages are prevalent or imminent. A regionaUst party may tend to target the poUtical center as mimical to regional mterests. NationaUst strategies might mclude explortmg the resentment and msecurities associated with the encroachment of the global economy. Hence the targets woiUd be all institutions that promoted global mtegration, including the poUtical center. By contrast the extremist school would expect extremist parties to emphasize racism and a rejection of democracy. Further, the New PoUtics perspective would expect New Right parties to be especiaUy hostile to greens, hence environmental and post-material issues as opposed to parties of the center right. GeneraUy, parties that promote lowering taxes, and advocate protectionism, wiiile scapegoating immigrants might be expected toførebest. Lowering taxes, especially those levied on smaU businesses, might be a way to appeal to both the petrt bourgeoisie and the working classes. A focus on immigration could draw supportfromopponents of multi-culturalism, and the economically hisecure that worry about competition in the labor market. Thus, unlike the extremist e)q)ectation, the NPP model assumes that NPPs are more eclectic and opportimistic than ideologicaUy extremist parties. Although the success of NPPs should be related to its strategies, the electorate may not be receptive depending on a number of factors summarized here as the poUtical


opportunity stmcture. The poUtical opportimity stmctiu-e includes the stabUrty of poUtical aUgnments, the formal channels of access to the poUtical system, the availabiUty of aUies to the NPP, and the degree of mtra-eUte conflict. Here, I mclude an addrtional factor, the legacy of fascism, since untU fairly recently the stabiUty of alignments m coimtries like Germany and Italy had been attributed to the inter-war føscist experience (Franklm, Mackie and Valen 1992). The legacy of fascism refers to the historical past of a given country. Countries that have experienced a fascist or collaborationist govemment m World War II have a fascist legacy. The degree to which a party is linked to a fascist legacy should be important, since according to the NPP model such Unkages hurt a partys electoral prospects. In some cotmtries, such as Germany, the legacy of fascism might be especiaUy constraining. Yet, successflil NPPs should be expected to distance themselves from the fascist legacy. Therefore, the NPP model's expectation is that parties tend to be successfiil to the degree that they avoid overt ties to a fascist legacy, if not disavow fascism more proactively. NPP Unkages to fascism are few where the party leadership does not have an apparent fascist past, and where the party platform decidedly rejects fascism NPP Unkages to fascism are considered some if the some of the party leadership and membership seem to be associated whh prior fascist organizations and have ambiguous party platforms. Formal channels of access to the poUtical system, electoral and legal, should be significant predictors of where NPPs succeed orføUto seciu'e a foothold. Electoral constraints include pliu-aUty laws that Umit the number of parties represented in


legislatures, and legal barriers include laws designed to ban "extremism" Electoral barriers are low wiiere the electoral system is based upon proportional representation. Moderate electoral barriers occur where the system is hybrid, incorporating aspects of both afist-past-thepost system as weU as proportional representation. High barriers exist where the electoral laws decidedly discriminate against smaUer party representation. Another factor that shoiUd constrain NPP success is the stability of polrtical aUgnments. Where old, mainstream parties are unchaUenged the NPPs should stand Uttle chance, but NPPs shouldflourishwhere older, centrist parties are weakening. This expectation paraUels the deaUgnment Uterature. DeaUgnment can occur on either the left orright,or on both sides of the party system DeaUgnment is considered low where mainstream parties continue to be major actors in govemment, and where spUntering is not evident. DeaUgnment is moderate w^ere mainstream parties maintain electoral viabiUty but are in relati\'e decline and are chaUenged by smaUer parties. DeaUgnment is high where mainstream parties have been displaced as the largest part> on therightor left by a new party. Where mainstream parties ha\ e a difiBcuh time holding on to tradrtional bases of support, another factor, mtra-eUte conflict, might come mto play. Among parties of the mainstream right, especiaUy, questions regarding poUcy can divide social conservati\ es and economic conservatives. NPPs may profit from these intra-partyfemUysquabbles. NPPs, parties of the right, shoiUd be more successfiil where mainstream right-wing poUtical leaders are spUntered into separate parties and drvided over the particular


substantive poUcy questions facing respective cotmtries. Intra-eUte conflict manifests as divided and spUntered parties on the mamstream right. FmaUy the NPPs relations to other parties m the system should be hnportant. The avaUabUhy of aUies is constramed by the responses of other parties to the NPP. Where the general response is exclusion, we might anticipate that NPPs wdU have limited success, whereas where the response is mclusion the NPP is likely to mahitam hs power and popular appeal. A third response, co-option, is ambiguous, since it may either serve to draw voters away from an NPP, or madvertently leghimize the NPP agenda thus strengthening rt.

Cases Cases included for this analysis include the Reform Party of Canada, the National Front of France, the Northera League of Italy, the RepubUcans of Germany, and the Progress Party of Norway. The Reform Party of Canada is hicluded in the analysis sincertis a North American representative of neo-popuUsm It demonstrates that popuUst poUtics is not restricted to Eiu^ope, as isftutherevidenced by the emergence of NPPs in AustraUa (One Nation) and New Zealand (New Zealand First), feUow Conunonweahh countries. Reform, however, is perhaps the most significant popuUst party outside of Europe, unless we treat India's BJP as neo-popuUst, as weU (Andersen 1998). However, since I treat neo-popuUsm as systemic disaffection stemming from post-industrial society I disregard parties from the Global Soirth. The Reform Party's remarkable rise to prominence in


1993 when it displaced the Progressrve Conservatives as the major party of the right, continues to maintain this position in Canadian pohtics foUowing subsequent elections. The Reform Party is also unique in thatrtis perhaps the only "mral" party. Led by Preston Manning, the party objects to the aUeged favoritism of Ottawa towards Quebec and Ontario at the expense of the rest of Canada. In the European context resentment towards the system is foimd among lu-ban dweUers. In Canada, the Reform Party appeals to citizens of the westem provinces, including British Columbia, and is inextricably linked to the regional issues facing Canada, including the seemingly hresolvable status of Quebec. Therefore, it is often labeled an example of regional popuUsriL The National Front of France is the most often studied case. Unlike the Canadian Reform Party, the National Front has often been labeled an "extreme"rightparty, as opposed to a populist party, imdoubtedly because the Front's leader, Jean-Marie Le Pen, is a very controversial figure who is prone to making Ught of the Holocaust among other things. Be that asrtmay, the Front is also exceptionally successfijl m maintaming an otherwise disparate and heterogeneous coaUtion together, includmg royalists, CathoUc flmdamentaUsts, New Right inteUectuals, even recmrtmg support from ersts\1iUe UDF and RPR members. The National Front is also a fairly long lived party, and a successfîil one at that, resuhing m a secular decline m the fortimes and signifícant divisions of the mamstream right. The Front, a party closely associated wrth an anti-immigrant platform, astonishingly enough did not adopt this plank imtU the early 1980s. Perhaps not so surprisingly the partyfloimderedimtU discovering immigration. In recent years, the Front has also capitalized on Euro-skepticism. The centerrightparties have tried to


exclude the Front, in an effort to restrictrtsappeaL but this has not been a steadfast strategy stemming from divisions within the mainstream right. Recent divisions wrthin the Front may be a prehide to its decline. The RepubUcan Party of Germany is an unsuccessfiil party. Ahhough once led by the charismatic Franz Schônhuber, the party has never been able to unify the disparate strands of extreme right and disaffected voters in Germany. Relatively poor in resources and intemaUy divided, die Repubhkatier Partei has faUed make an electoral impression. and has had to compete wrth other extremerightparties, the NDP and DVU for \ oters. This failure suggests that in some contexts a neo-popuUst strategy does not materialize. Arguably the German electorate is resistant to popuUst appeals. However, other factors also fígure prominently, hicluding the relative stabiUty of German poUtical aUgnments, and the strength of the CSU, a conservative party, hi Bavaria, a Land wliere the far right vote has been most concentrated. The Northem League is another successful neo-popuUst part>. It is m some respects shnilar to the Reform Party of Canada m that both parties explort regional issues. Hence, the Northem League is also a regional popuUst party. Umberto BossL the League's assertive leader, has virtuaUy manufactiu-ed the concept of a new country caUed Padania. The Northera League is a most interestmg case because rt is a party that coexists with an erstwhile neo-fascist party, and has had to con^ete with neo-Uberal parties, often shifting poUcies to maintain electoral relevance. The Northera League, in that sense. offers the best test for the hypothesis that neo-popuUst parties differ from neofascist parties whUe offering some insights into the dUemma facing new parties which


want to broaden electoral appeal. Although the League's caU for outright separatism does not appear a winning strategy, the pudi for físcal federalism seems to have made an impression among a number of voters in deaUgned North Italy. Other parties ha\ e not been able to address this concera of smaU businesses in particular. Norways Progress Party is included in the analysis as an example of the Scandinavian neo-popiUist right. It has been more successfiil thanrtscounterpart in Sweden, though simUar in this respect to the Progress Party of Denmark. What reaUy sets the Norwegian party apart isrtsapparent abUity to weather the loss ofrtsfounding leader, Anders Lange, and enjoy greater electoral successes under subsequent leadership of Carl I. Hagen. The organization of the party is less centralized than that of other parties analyzed here. The Progress Party emerges in a country where consensual poUtics is the norm, and where imemployment is relatively low. On the face ofrt,the case contradicts extremist explanations that tend to focus on the "losers of moderaization" as a signifícant factor in appeal and success.

Comparing cases by Factors I now proceed to provide indrv idual case studies in more depth, each with reference to the factors expected to be related to the success of NPPs. Thefíndingsare summarized m the table below (Table 3.1). The table provides a cmde glimpse at the various factors analyzed and the levels of success for each party.


Table 3.1: Levels ' of Padania. The RepubUcans are a relatively unsuccessfiil party. A spUnterfi'omthe conservative CSU, the RepubUcans have not been able to chaUenge the CSU in the Land


of Bavaria. Outside of Bavaria the party is organizationaUy thm. and has made no impression m the Lands of the former East Germany. The RepubUcans' anti-immigration stance is supposed to appeal to German nationaUsm generally.

Stmcture The organizational stmcture of the parties does not appear to be a determinmg factor in electoral success. Whereas some parties with relatively centralized stmctures, such as the National Front, have done quhe weU. others have not. The RepubUcans exemplify' the latter case. Relatively decentralized, democratic stmctures do not seem to ha\ e a debiUtating impact erther, given the successes of Reform and the Progress Part>. These findmgs contradict both the expectations of the extremist Uterature and the neopopiUist model insofar as centraUzed stmctures were constmed as significant features of the extreme right and NPP parties, respectively.

NPP di\ isions NPP divisions seem to be significant factors contributing to relati\ e successes. In the most successful cases, the Reform Party and the Progress Party, there is Uttle evidence of intra-party divisiveness. Reform Party members ha\e been divided over strategy, but not on ideology. Preston Manning has been leader since 1987 and continued to be reelected to the post of executive. The divisions on \\^ether to merge with the Progressive Conservatives, possibly the most radical departurefi"omthe party's popuUst roots has received nominal resistance at best.


The Progress Party has had several divisions, the first in the 1970s when current leader Carl Hagen led a reform group with the avowed aim of democratizing the party stmcture, but the schism was short Uved. The primary ideological divide over the Ubertarian resistance to the anti-immigrant plank has not threatened party imrty. The National Front was very united through the late 1990s when Bruno Mégret challenged Jean-Marie Le Pen's leadership. Prior to the party's ^lrt the Front had demonstrated an abUrty to maintain a broad coaUtion of groups that may have been at odds on particular matters of poUcy. The classification of the Front as moderateK divided thus comes with the caveat that divisions smce 1999 should be classified as high. The Republicans have experienced then own power stmggle, however the ousting of the former leadership did not spUt the part>'. The RepubUcans owe the moderate classification. thus, to the divisions of the mid-1990s. although smce that thne the part\ has been relatively division fi"ee. The Northera League has always been unrted under the leadership of Umberto BossL but there have been smaU spUnter parties, though none of significance. The biggest threat to the League came m the form of Deputy defections m late 1994 and eariy 1995 when the League was part of the Freedom AUiance coaUtion headed by SU\ io Berlusconi's Forza Italia party. Other divisions over strategy have manifested, but Bossi has remained in control of the party throughout.


Lmks to Fascism Whether a party has links to fascism seems to be an ambiguous faaor m the electoral success of the party. On the one hand, parties with virtuaUy no fascist linkages, such as the Reform Party seem to do weU. On the other hand, some parties that have been labeled neo-fascist, such as the National Front also can achieve success. Of course the links to fascism is subjective, and none of the parties examined here claim a fascist heritage. If anything they deny aU aUegations that they are sympathetic to fascism. Thus outsiders perceive the Unkages to fascism The National Front and RepubUcans are singled out in this regard. The aUegation that the parties have fascist linkages stemsfi-omthen respective leaderships. The Front's leader. Jean-Marie Le Pen, has made remarks that are constmed to be anti-Semitic and belittUng of the Holocaust, and has associated with some individuals who were fascists. However. overaU Le Pen's fascism in inferred. The Unkages of the RepubUcan's former leader. Franz Schônhuber. is more apparent. as he has proudly declared that he once served for a SS division. On the other hand, the party itself was estabUshed by a spUnter group of CSU members. None of the founders were former Nazis, nor was an\ apparentlyright-wingextremist. The other part>^s discussed here do not have any apparent fascist Unkages. The Reform Party, in particular, should not be confiised whh neo-fascist parties since Canada is a coimtry withoirt a fascist legacy.


Legacy of Fascism Except for Canada, aU other countries analyzed here have had an hrefiitable fascist past. Italy's Mussolini is virtuaUy synonymous with fascism during the mter-War period. Yet, the Northem League is not the neo-fascist party m Italy. Other parties claim that legacy in Italy. In Germany any number of parties have been outwardly sympathetic to the Nazi regime that overthrew the Weimar repubUc. These neo-Nazi parties have emerged fi-om time to time, yet the Republicans are not always considered in the same categor> with these parties. In France the legacy of the Vichy regime is a contentious matter. Unlike Germany and Italy the fascist regime in France was coUaborationist. hence not realh endogenous. Howe\ er, the schism between fascist coUaborationists and the Resistance is significant in French histor>'. The National Front is not clearly the inheritor, though. of this coUaborationist legacy. Norway, Uke France, experienced a coUaborationist regime diuing World War IL but fascism was never as popular among the Norwegians asrtwas among the French. Thus. the impact of a fascist legacy in Norway is not certain. The Progress Party strongK resents assertions thatrtis a neo-fascist part>'.

StabUrty of AUgnments Perhaps the most significant factor included m the table is the stabiUty of aUgnments. In all countries wiiere an NPP has had success a high degree of right-wing


deaUgnment is evident. Of coiu-se this is somewhat tautological: an NPP's success is measiu-ed m terms ofright-wingdeaUgnment. This might be the case for Canada where the Reform Party displaced the ProgressKe Conservatrves m the 1993 election. However, as is tme of the case of France, the National Front is but one party m a general ^Untering of a once imrtedrightunder Charles de GauUe. Any number of right-wing parties wrth difíering ideologies exists in the French party system This is also tme of Norwa>. where the Progress Party is but one of numerousright-wingparties that have emerged as the Conservati\ es decUned. In Italy the Christian Democrats imploded and disintegrated, andfi-omthe ashes of the old party s>'stem a mam party of therighthas not emerged. In Germany. on the other hand, the mainstreamrighthas not spUntered, and although the CDU has been m decline since the late 1980s no otherright-wingparty has profitedfi-omrt. The case studies suggest thatright-wingdealignment is more significant that leftwing deaUgnment, since in cases where the left aUgnments remain relati\ ely stable the neo-popuUst parties may stUl make electoral gains. This seems to contradict the New PoUtics thesis that New Right parties emerge as a response to a New Left. In Canada the Liberals remain the most significant part>', actuaUy gainingfi-omthe decline of the Progressive Conservatives. Ahhough the Liberals must now compete wrth the Bloc Quebe^ois for support in Quebec, elsewhere the party remains dominant. The strength of the Labor Party in Norway suggests a simUar pattem. Therightis in disarray. but the left remains unrted. Only in Italy, due to the coUapse of the entire party system regime do we have e\'idence of significant left deaUgnment. The left-wing deaUgnments m France and


Germany are classified as moderate. In France the decline of the Coimnunists m the 1980s may have led to some \ oter defections to the Front. and in Germany the rise of the Greens led to some defectionsfi-omthe Social Democrats. In the German case rightwing parties did not gainfi-omleft-wing deaUgnment.

Barriers to Access PluraUty electoral laws do not appear to have the significant impact on success that one might expea. In Canada and France the Reform Party and National Front ha\ e done reasonably weU despite the presence of electoral systems that are generaU> hostUe to smaUer parties. In the Reform Partys case the regional concentration of the vote and the country's federal stmcture seem to have helped the party secure a significant number of seats in the riders. More interesting, though, is the persistence of the Front vote despite a lack of representation in the Assembly. Clearly the lack of representation has not dissuaded Front supportersfi^omcasting their votes for the Front over the span of more than a decade. In ItaK the Northem League stiU remains significant, since like the Canadian Reform Part>', its support is regionaUy concentrated. Hence it can win districts. Further. the ItaUan electoral system since 1993 is a modified British system, including a provision that 25% of the Deputy seats are distributed proportionately. It is likely, though, that fiuther electoral reform e?q)ected foUowing a planned 1999 referendum woiUd eliminate aU proportional representation. It is not clear how this wiU impact the League.


In Norway proportional representation favors aU smaU parties, and may have been a factor in the mhial successes of the Progress Party. In Germany parties need to recei\ e at least 5% of the national vote to gain access to the Bimdestag, and the RepubUcans have failed to pass this barrier. Further, in Germany extremism is baimed, thus parties like the RepubUcans have been stigmatized and sometimes facing restrictions.

Intra-elrte Conflict Moderate to high levels of intra-eUte confUct seems to contribute to NPP successes. On the other hand, apparently lesser degrees of confUct do not appear to determine failure, either. In Canada intra-eUte conflict overhowto deal with the question of Quebec's status and potential secession has been evident since the Tmdeau years. Liberals have taken the hard-Une, suggesting that federaUsm demands that Quebec should be equal to other provinces. Progressi\ e Conser\'atives, together with provincial Liberals fi-om Quebec had tried to co-opt the Quebec demands for special status. but this seems to ha\ e the unintended impact of dividing the right. The Canadian divisions are considered moderate since the issue seems to have divided therightmore than the left. In France any number of questions divide eUtes. EUtes in particular have been at odds over the economy and Uberalization, both on the left and the right. They are also divided, therefore, on Eiu*opean integration. In fact, there is no imified right or left in France on such matters. Therefore France is classified as high on intra-eUte divisions.


Whhm therightthere are serious divisions on how to counter the Front and capture some ofrtssupport. In Germany intra-eUte divisions did not reaUy become significant imtU the 1970s, and even since then there has been Uttle dissent on the need for a balance between the interests of industry and weUare. However, with the emergence of the Greens questions of identity and foreign poUcy have been increasingly divisive. Further, with the encroachment of the global economy the German eUte, both within therightand left, ha\ e been at odds over how to cope with the growing economic pressures, hicluding the problem of unemployment, especiaUy since German reunification. Therefore, in Germany divisions are few, but increasmg. However. the RepubUcans have not been able to exploit any of the divisions. In Norway the intra-eUte conflicts revolve around the question of the European Union. Should Norwa> join? Although the Labor and Conservative leaderships ha\ e been for membership, a number of other parties oppose it. PubUc opinion has also been spUt. In fact, even the leaderships of respective parties have not always agreed within theh parties. The Progress Part>' seems to have explorted the decUning consensus in Norwegian society on a number of economic and social questions.

NPP Competrtion When an NPP faces much competrtion on saUent issues, such as on antiimmigration, this seems to constrain success. The RepubUcans of Germany have faced competrtionfi-omall sides. The conservative CSU co-opts nationalism, and the extreme-


right DVU has outflanked the RepubUcans on anti-immigration and hostUrty to foreigners. In other coimtries the compethion is less severe. In Canada Reform is the primar> anti-Quebec party. Ahhough devolution has been co-opted by the Liberals, Reform is stUl the single most vocal party caUmg dnect democracy. In Norway only the Progress Party appeals to anti-immigrant sentiment, and only the Progress Part> suggests fi-eemg up oU reser\ e fimds for social expenditures. Ahhough the National Front's Euroskepticism is nearly matched by other parties,rtsstance on immigration is unique SimUarly in Italy, whereas the Northera League's emphasis on fiscal reform ma\ be matched. rt stands alone in hs call for devolution and federalism.

Responses of Other Parties The response of other parties seems to be an ambiguous factor. GeneralK mainstream parties ha\ e excluded NPPsfi^omcoaUtions. The exception here is the Northera League. wiiich joined the Freedom AlUance in 1994. However. exclusion fi-om coaUtion government does not appear a determining factor in success or faUure. In Canada the question facing the Progressive Conser\atives in the 1990s has been what to do aboirt the regjonal splrt of theright-wingvote. wiiereby the Reform controls the west and the Tories the east. Inclusion, in the form of electoral alUances. if not outright merger has become a consideration, although the leadership has thus far rejected h.


In France various UDF members have broken ranks with their mamstream right coUeagues and have made electoral pacts with the Front in order to seciue election. These alUances have been denounced by the leaders of mainstream parties, but the fact thatright-wingcandidates cannot defeat the left without the Front's help had become a practical reaUty in France in the mid to late 1990s. In other cases there has been an attempt to co-opt aspects of the NPP platform In France, for instance, various poUticians run on a decidedly Euro-skeptic platform with a \ iew to stealing away some \'Otersfromthe Front. However. on immigration the mainstreamrighthas not been able to co-opt the issue. In Germany. foUowing an influx of asylum seekers in 1992, the CDU was able to get the SPD to agree to an amendment to Germany's permissive asylum laws. Ostensibly this co-optation took some of the wind out of the sails of the RepubUcans.

Indi\idual Case Studies bv Factors Canada's Reform Party Histor\' and Success. The Reform Party of Canada reaUy madertselfa household name m 1993. With one election resuhrtvhtuaUy wdped the Progressive Conser\'atives ofiFthe poUtical map. The Progressive Conservatives feU from 170 seats m 1988 to just 2 in 1993 m the Federal legislature. MeanwhUe Reform went from one to 52 seats m the House of Commons. The 1993 election was noteworthy not only for the rise of Reform but also of the separatist Bloc Quebe^ois, w^ch ran m the federal elections. Since then the Reform Party has mcreased rts seats to 60. estabUshmg rtself as the Ofíicial


Opposition. and the Bloc Quebe^ois maintamsrtsgrip on Quebec. These significant developments ha\ e seemingly transformed the Canadian poUtical s> stemfroma supposed stable two-party-plus system into a system dominated by regional cleavages. The Reform Party's origins are in westera Canada. Westera Canadians have long standing grievances vis-â-vis Central Canada. which is more populous. The West is also agrarian, and dependent upon commodhy prices. Therefore economic volatiUty has always been a problem for Westera Canada. The Social Credrt Party, a Reform forerunner. was foimded by WiUiam Aberhart. and then led by Eraest Manning. Both were preachers of a doctrine of reUgious flmdamentaUsm and economic free enterprise. The part>' was in the family of Prairie Province popuUsm that found considerable strength in Canada in the 1920s and 1930s as the Great Depression hrt those provinces with particular devastation aUenating. to a large extent. westera Canada from the more industrialized and urbanized eastera Canada. The aUenation of the so-caUed Prairie Provhices, the largely agrarian. wheat growing provmces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan. Alberta, and the eastera part of British Columbia has been exacerbated over the years by then sense of physical isolation. A sense of regionalism has been a feature of Canadian poUticsfromthe begiimmg always weakeiUng the development of a sense of national commimrty. This alienation was expressed m Saskatchewan and Manitoba through the social democratic Cooperative Commonweahh Federation, a part>' espousing a curious blend of agrarian coUectivism found among single crop farmers in North America (Lipset 1950). In Alberta, however, the aUenated farmers bought into The Social Credrt Party. a popuUst party that was resentfiil and


conspnatorial in its outlook focusing on the evU eastem bankers andfinancialeUtes as the source of the misery of the agrarian cUentele of the part>'. The Reform Party inheríted much of the agrarian protest cUentele of the old Social Credrt Party, e^eciaUy Preston Manning, the son of Emest, who led the gathering at Vancouver in 1987 to discuss the foundhig of the new party. The anti eUte orientation of Reform and earUer Social Credrt leaders has been driven by a perception of eastem Canada, especiaUy the banking and commercial eUtes in that part of the country, as hostUe to the interests of the wheat beh west. This perception was exacerbated by a stmctural factor in the Canadian system Due to the weakness of the Canadian Senate. the instrtution that was supposed to represent the provinces equaUy as the Senate in the United States, legislative power is in the Canadian House w^ch aUocates seats on the basis of popiUation. Hence, the sparsely settled Prairie Provinces are severely underrepresented relative to Quebec and Ontario. Possible Reform Party leaders who sought to ex-press westera discontent without therightwing popuUsm, men such as Stan Roberts, were forced out of the early leadership the Reform Party. Henceforth, imder the leadership of the yoimger Manning, 'The partys poUcies, adopted at that time and largely unchanged since, married pure popuUsm to free enterprise and traditional conservatism, along whh aspects of regional and poUtical aUenation . . ."(Harrison 1995, p.l20). The relative isolation of Westera Canada is exacerbated by the Unguistic and cultural cleavage in Central Canada. Canadian pohticians have usuaUy foimd it expedient to find ways to bridge the gap between Quebec and the "rest of Canada"


(ROC). That is, poUticians in Ottawa tried to devise means to cope with (^ebec's demands whUe catering to the interests of the ROC. Accormnodating Quebec became more difíicult over time, since the Unguistic cleavage evolved into a broader, regional distributional cleavage. Increasingly, e^eciaUy in the West, a growing resentment towards Central Canada manifested, as issues came to be seen in zero sum terms. The Reform Party emerged in this context of resentment. A preciphating incident may have been the awardhig of an aerospace contract to a Quebec-based company over a westera company's bid that even government reports declared superior (Harrison 1995; McCormick 1996). Although discrimination had always been common, in the past this expected from the Liberals, but the incumbent party at the time were the Progressive Conser\'atives, and so the decision spark great resentment. The Westera Reform Association spearheaded an initiative to deal wrth perceived grievances, and invited poUtical leadersfromaU parties to attend meeting to discuss these issues. Agreeing that the federal govenmient was disregarding, if not hostUe to the west, fiscally irresponsible, and fixated on bUingualism the delegates voted to estabUsh a poUtical party. In November 1987 Preston Manning was named leader. The Reform Party dedicatedrtselfto a set of guidmg principles mcludmg provincial equaUty, wiUch in practical terms meant rejecting special status for Quebec. Further. whUe caUing for greater reliance on the free market,rtalso encoiu-aged cuts in the welfare state. an end to oiBBcial bUinguaUsm, and tightening immigration criteria. At first the Reform Party was unsuccessfiil. The smgle member district pliu"aUty electoral mles seemed to be insurmoimtable hiu'dles for a new party. However. as the


regional cleavages m Canada became mcreasingly poUticized aUowed both the Reform Party and Bloc Quebe^ois to concentrate on certam regions and concentrate the vote. The Reform Party concentrated on regions excludmg (^ebec, w^ereas the Bloc Quebe^ois focused campaigned exclusively wrthin (^ebec. The resuh was radical platforms that contrasted starkly with the poUtics of compromise that the more nationaUy oriented Liberals and Progressive Conservatives had put forth. Thefirstbreakthrough would come through the controversial Charlottetown Accord of 1992, designed by the Progressive Conservatives and then prime minister, Brian Mulroney, to assuage both Westem and Quebe^ois concems, and overcome the constitutional deadlock. Reform stood alone in opposition. When the Accord was rejected by the citizens Reform stood to gain handsomely. In 1993 Reform made its electoral breakthrough, successfiiUy explorting the constitutional issue, and weak economic performance. It had the fiirther advantage of facing ofif against a discredrted Progressive Conservative Party foUowing the Accord's defeat. The Tories were reduced to 16% of the total vote, and just two seats in federal govemment. Although the Alberta based Reform received only 18% of the national vote, a mere two percent more than the Conservatives, the party swept much of the west, taking 52 seats. Reform managed to hold on to hs support in 1997, ahhough the Progressive Conservatives showed signs of revrval. In fact, Reform actuaUy made modest gains, securing 19% of the vote and taking 60 seats. After the 1997 elections Reform became


the official opposrtion in Canada. The Tories secured nearly as many votes. but theh support was dispersed across the provmces. Thus, they managed to pick up onK 20 seats, mostly in the east. Since then Reform has beenfloimdering,trying to find a new direction. Once dedicated to self-immolation by 2000, the party has extended this date tUl 2007. The party is also considering formal alUances with the Progressive Conservatives, if not an outright merger. Stmcture and Leadership. The organizational stmctme of the Reform Part> reflectsrtspopuUst style (Taggart 1995, p. 41). Although the stmcture is democratic. wiiereby the party assembly makes binding poUcy decisions and elects the executi\ e committee, there is evidence that the committee is qurte coherent and committed to Preston Mannmg (McCormick 1996). Some say that the democratic stmcture is an elaborate fa^ade (Flanagan 1995). Strategy. Although the Reform Part>' has been promoting economic liberaUsm h also exploits law and order issues, and according to some empirical analyses herein lies the key to Reform Party appeal (Nevitt, Blais, Gidengil, Johnston and Brady 1998). The strategy of targeting poUtical classes seems to work really weU for the Reform Part>'. and in this sense exhibh a popiUist mobUization strateg>'. The general strategy of Reform has always been to avoid the stigma of a regional interests part>'. Reform recognized the advantage of poshioning rtself as a national party. Therefore, Reform has made the strategic decision to nm candidates outside of Westem Canada, and not to run candidates in provincial elections.


The strategy has been partly successfliL but the appeal of Reform is stUl a regional affair. GeneraUy, Reform support is concentrated m the west. and Progressi\ e Conservative support strongest in the eastera provinces. Reform has faUed to dislodge the Tories in Ontario, v^ere the two parties spUt theright-wingvote, thus serving the mterestsoftheLiberalswhotaketheUon'sshareof seats(101 outof 103 m 1997!). Reform promotes fiscal responsibilhy and lessening the tax burden on middle class voters. The party has tried to exploh provmcial divisions over the role of Ottawa m heahh and weUare poUcies. Under Canada's division of powers, the provmces handle education, health and welfare, but the federal govemment helps pay the costs, and historically has used hs power to persuade them to bring m "shared cost" programs. B\ the 1980s, imder pressurefromthe provinces, the federal govemment revised the Canada Health Act to mclude block grants so as to consoUdate the federal contribution. In the 1990s. in an efifort to cut the Canadian budget deficrt, the Liberals had roUed heahh and welfare benefíts into a single lump, actuaUy cutting the annual total. Reform has since caUed for what might be paradoxical poUcies, advocating more health care spending from Ottawa wliUe calling for tax cuts. Ottawa, mean\diUe, enjoying a budget surplus in the late 1990s has co-opted the caU for tax reUef. as weU as for greater provincial input in social poUcy initiation through a recent "social union" agreement. Whh respect to social poUcy the Reform Party advocates personal responsibiUty and individual freedom In many re^ects the part>' platform paraUels the emphases of social conservatism in the United States. Reform, reflectmg rts evangeUcal origins, rejects abortion. However, the Reform Part>' is more eclectic, promotmg social


democracy in the form of job training and resoiu-ces for the health care system Reform even agrees that envnonmental protection is necessary, although h claims that a balance must be stmck between environmental needs and sustainable development. The Reform Party tries to explort law and order concems, arguing for substantial reform of the criminal justice system deemed too lax. Similar to American conservatives. Reform believes m promoting therightsof gim owners, claiming that federal effbrts to curb crime has been a cover for depriving citizens of firearms. On more controversial social issues. such as immigration, the party claims to actuaUy support immigration and "genuine refiigees" as a positive source of economic growth, cultural diversrt> and social renewal (as outUned m the Draft Resolutions for the Unhed Altemative National Convention. Febmary 1999). Uhimately the Reform Party's most sigmficant theme isrtsinsistence that Quebec not be accorded any special Provincial status within Canada, although this thmst is watered down with an avowed "practical sensrti\ ity" to "leghimate" regional, cuhural. and Unguistic interests within Canada. The Reform Party, thus, argues that the interests of aU Provinces must be safeguarded. This is in congmence with the party's poshion on federaUsm. Reform calls for a "new" federaUsm (as outlined in a biU caUed the New Canada Act) wiiere the role of powers of the provincial govemments, thus clear demarcations of authority. Reform advocates greater provincial autonomy in areas of social service like heahh. education and culture. Reform, tme to its popiUist roots, caUs for electoral reforms, such as the


dnect election of aU Senators and referenda on aU Constitutional questions. thus Umitmg the power of the federal government and representatives more generaU\. In this the Reform Party is distmctfromthe federal oriented Liberals and Progressive Conservatives, and shares a resentment of Ottawa along wrth the Bloc QuebcQois. However, the Reform Party rejects Quebec secession. The Reform Party has not been able to displace the Progressive Conservatives in the Eastera Provinces, and more significantly has faUed to do so in the aU-important Pro\ince of Ontario. In Ontario theright-wingvote is spUt between Reform and Progressi\'e Consen ati\ es. Canada's pluraUst electoral laws hurt both parties, and as a resuh the Liberals ha\e dominated Ontario since the 1993 election. Reformhas actKely campaigned to unite with the Progressive Conser\ati\es. sponsoring a United Aheraatrse National Convention in Ottawa in Febmar> 1999. Reform urged Progressive Conser\'atives to join them in an electoral aUiance. if not outright merger. Aside from preventing continued vote spUtting. the Reform Party also wants therightto offer a distinct poUtical model from that of the federal Liberals. The Liberals are ostensibly a national party headed by one leader wdio may dictate poUcy to regional lieutenants. Reform, by contrast, hopes to estabUsh a united right "confederal" party. wliereby morefreedomwould be given to regional expression. The convention was attended by 1500 delegates, most of which were Reform members. Joe Clark, the leader of the Progressive Conservati\ es had boycotted the meeting. A majority of delegates voted to form a new party on Februar>' 21,1999. Howe\'er, \arious Progressive Conser\atives expressed doubts, saying that Reform would


first have to abandon rts advocacy of a ban on abortion, andrtsrefixsal to exteud special status to French-speaking Quebec. NPP Divisions The Reform Party does not face any extemal poUticalrivalson issues of law and order and resistmg special status for (^ebec. IntemaUy the party has been somewhat drvided on strategy. The ciurent efforts to estabUsh aUiances with other parties have brought more dissension than had been evident smce the party's inception in the I980s. The Reform Party, after aU, is a coaUtion of Progressive Conservative defectors. for the most part. Reunhmg impUes droppmg much of the popiUist and social conservative agenda. Further, in zeal to estabUsh aUiances agamst the Liberals, some Reform supporters have even advocated a radical electoral alliance wrth the Bloc QuebcQois, with which the Reform Party is usuaUy at odds! Some Reform members have defected. noting that the Social Credh PartVs downfall m the 1960s also came after overtures to Quebec. Thus far, though. no serious chaUenge has been arisen to Preston Manning's stewardship. Legacy of Fascism. Canada, imlike the other cases analyzed in this thesis. does not have a fascist past. The Reform Party, thus, also does not have any fascist Unkages. However, the various poUcy posrtions, such as law and order conceras, seem to paraUel the conceras of other parties discussed here. Barriers to Access. The Canadian electoral system woiUd tend to be a mitigating factor against the success of the Reform Party. Forthe Reform to do weU, it must be able to concentrate the vote, as h has done in hs stronghold of Alberta, as weU as British Columbia. However, the electoral system pimishes splrt voting, as has been the case in


Ontario between supporters of Reform and Progressive Conservatives, respectively. The first past the post electoral system means that a party can get many votes but Uttle representation. as has been the case especiaUy for the Progressive Conservatives of late, but also for the Reform Party in provinces oirtside of the west. The Provincial divisions and the federal stmcture of Canada, though, aUowed the Reform Part>' to displace the Tories m the West. These factors work to the benefit of the Reform Party and regional parties more generaUy in Canada. StabUrty of Alignments. The most significant factor influencing the success of the Reform Part>' may be the instabUity in poUtical aUgnments in Canada. The rise of Reform represents the growing assertiveness of chizens of the Westem Provinces vis-âvis Ottawa and the federalist parties. Canadian poUtics have always been dominated by the Unguistic and cultural cleavage that divides EngUsh speakers and Francophones. The British North America Act of 1867 estabUshed Canada as a confederation. Throughout the 20 century there had been conflict between the English and French communhies. with a number of events. including Louis Riel's rebellion, that imderscored the discord. In the late I960s the Parti (^ebeíjois pressed for separation. In the 1980s through 1990s a number of federal level inrtiatives to grant Quebec greater autonomy have faUed to gain approval. At the heart of the dispute are differing versions or models of Canadian society. To many Francophones the correct version should be that Canada was a partnership of founding peoples, implying that the bases of the relationship is poUtical equaUty. To the dismay of the Parti Quebe^ois. this version has not been appro\ ed by a majority of


Quebec's chizens in referenda. although h is not mconcervable that a majority might support separatism m a fijture referendum. E\'en if the Quebe^ois are not wholeheartedK in favor of separatism they have supported the Parti Quebe