Chapter 1: When right meets left: on the progressive rhetoric of far-right populist parties in Europe
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Far-right populist parties (FRPPs) in Europe have recently secured major and consequential electoral gains. What can explain their successes? Existing accounts focus on several key factors – from economic insecurity to fear of cultural dilution. While sensible, such accounts have nonetheless tended to view FRPPs as fundamentally conservative. As such, they have missed an important development: some of the most successful FRPPs have deviated from traditional conservative stances by articulating progressive positions on issues such as gender equality, support for the poor, and gay rights. This chapter aims to underscore and explore the nature of this rhetorical blending of historically incongruent principles. With what logic have FRPPs weaved those principles into coherent wholes? Only a comparative, multi-issue analysis can answer this. At the core of the explanation is nationalism itself. The empirical analysis concerns the National Rally in France, the Party for Freedom in the Netherlands, and the Sweden Democrats.

Edited by Liah Greenfeld and Zeying Wu