Cas Mudde, "Fighting the
system? Populist radical right parties and party system
change," Party Politics, 20 (March 2014), 217-226.
[Available at http://ppq.sagepub.com/content/vol20/issue2/
Populist radical right parties (PRRPs) are the most
successful party family to have emerged in post-war Europe.
Moreover, it is the only new party family that is relevant
in both Western and Eastern Europe. Its importance, however,
has often been seriously overstated in both academic and
non-academic accounts. On the whole, PRRPs have thus far had
only a rather modest influence over European politics
(Mudde, 2013). Even on their most important issue, i.e.
immigration, mainstream right-wing parties have generally
been more important (see Bale, 2008).
- Figures and
- Table 1. Western European countries by strength of
populist radical right party and presence of two-bloc
polarized party system, 1980-2012.
(first paragraph of conclusion) This article has analysed
one important aspect of the potential systemic impact of
PRRPs in Western Europe, namely their effect on party
systems. In summary, it is clear that they have not been a
major factor in party system change in Western Europe. While
their rise has changed the identity of some of the political
parties in some of the party systems of Western Europe, this
analysis shows that PRRPs have hardly changed the systemic
interactions between the relevant political parties within
most countries. In other words, electoral change, or even
party change, does not necessarily equate to party system
change (Mair, 1989).