1st Edition

The Sweden Democrats in Transition From Pariah to Co-operation Partner

By Anders Widfeldt Copyright 2025
    216 Pages 11 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book explains how the Sweden Democrats (SD), a populist radical right party, has moved from the fringes into the mainstream of Swedish politics.

    SD has experienced rapid growth and success in Sweden in recent years. Following the 2022 elections, SD became an official support party to a right of centre minority coalition. The party has managed this sustained electoral growth since it entered parliament in 2010, despite having roots in right-wing extremism, including some links with fascism and nazism. For these reasons it was for many years isolated by other parties, and given an overwhelmingly negative treatment by the media. This book explores the position of SD in the electorate, the changing status of SD among Swedish voters, and how other parties interact with SD. The analysis sheds light on the route into the mainstream of a party without a reputational shield. The argument is that, although the route SD has taken is different, it is only a matter of time before SD will take the final steps into the Swedish political mainstream and reach a position comparable to those of the Danish People’s Party, the Finns Party or the Norwegian Progress Party.

    The text will be of interest to scholars and students of European politics, comparative politics and populism.

    1. Meatballs and mash  2. A fourth phase – even in Sweden?  3. Up, up and away – trends in support for the Sweden Democrats  4. From splendid isolation towards a right of centre bloc  5. The normalisation of SD, phase 1  6. The normalisation of SD, phase 2  7. A transformed mainstream


    Anders Widfeldt has been a lecturer in Politics at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, since 1996. He obtained his doctoral degree at Göteborg University in Sweden. Besides right-wing extremism and populism, his research interests also include party membership and party organisations.