248 pages | 1 B/W Illus.
Right-wing populism is a global phenomenon that challenges several pillars of liberal democracy, and it is often described as a dangerous political ideology because it resonates with the fascist idea of power in terms of anti-pluralism and lack of minorities’ protection. In Western Europe, many political actors are exploiting the fears and insecurities linked to globalization, economic crisis, and mass migrations to attract voters. However, while right-wing populist discourses are mainstream in certain countries, they are almost completely taboo in others. Why in Italy, Austria, and France right-wing populism is so successful while in Germany it is marginal and socially unacceptable? It is because each country developed a certain collective memory of the fascist past, which stigmatizes that past to different levels. For this reason, right-wing populism can find favorable conditions to thrive in certain countries while in others it is considered as an illegitimate and dangerous idea of power. Through a comparative study of eight European countries, this book shows that short-term factors linked to levels of corruption, economic situation, and quality of democracy, interact with long-term cultural elements and collective memories in determining the social acceptability of right-wing populist discourses.
Introduction: Populism and Fascist Legacies
1. Taxonomy of a Chameleon: The Populist Idea of Power
2. The Natural Habitat of Populism: Favourable Conditions and Triggers
3. Populism, Collective Memory, and Stigma of the Fascist Past
4. Methodology: Measuring Populism and Testing Its Social Acceptability
5. Populism in Eight West European Countries since the 1970s
6. Collective Memory and Fascist Legacies in Western Europe
7. Explaining Populism "The Usual Way"
8. The Effect of Fascist Legacies on Populism
This series covers academic studies within the broad fields of ‘extremism’ and ‘democracy’, with volumes focusing on adjacent concepts such as populism, radicalism, and ideological/religious fundamentalism. These topics have been considered largely in isolation by scholars interested in the study of political parties, elections, social movements, activism, and radicalisation in democratic settings. A key focus of the series, therefore, is the (inter-)relation between extremism, radicalism, populism, fundamentalism, and democracy. Since its establishment in 1999, the series has encompassed both influential contributions to the discipline and informative accounts for public debate. Works will seek to problematise the role of extremism, broadly defined, within an ever-globalising world, and/or the way social and political actors can respond to these challenges without undermining democratic credentials.