Return to: Search Page or to: Table of Contents Vol. 2, issue 2

Cas Mudde, "The Paradox of the Anti-Party Party: Insights from the Extreme Right," Party Politics , 2 (April, 1996), 265-276.

First Paragraph:
In the debate about anti-party sentiments, which seems to captivate political scientists around the world, extreme-right parties play an important part. As the 1980s have brought the third wave of right-wing extremism (Von Beyme, 1988), several political scientists have interpreted the electoral successes of these parties as a sign of the rise of anti-party sentiments (Ignazi, 1992; Stouthuysen, 1993: Betz, 1994). They are supported by various electoral studies, which show that the voters of these parties are more critical of the (established) political parties then the general voter (Roth, 19990; Billiet et al., 1992; Plasser and Ulram, 1992).

Figures and Tables:
None.

Last Paragraph:
However, the (self-perceived) losers of the 'dual society' (Swyngedouw, 1992) have no place in these organizations. They have to achieve their so-called 'silent counter-revolution' (Ignazi, 1992) within the existing party-political system. It is they who have no other option than voicing their discontent through the old and despised institutions of the political parties. Moreover, it is they who will vote for the extreme-right parties that they perceive as true anti-party parties, but are no more than successful agents of populist 'anti-party sentiments'.