In 2016, the striking electoral success of the UK Vote Leave campaign and Donald Trump’s presidential bid defied conventional expectations and transformed the political landscape. Considered together, these two largely unpredicted events constitute a defining moment in the process of the incorporation of far-right populist discourse in mainstream politics.
This timely book argues that there has been a change in the fundamental dynamic of the mainstreaming of far-right populist discourse. In recent elections, anti-establishment actors have rewritten the playbook, defeated the establishment and redefined political norms. They have effectively outplayed, overtaken and trumped mainstream parties and policies.
As fringe discourse becomes mainstream, how we conceive of the political landscape and indeed the very distinction between a political centre and periphery has been challenged. This book provides new theoretical tools and empirical analyses to understand the ongoing mainstreaming of far-right populism. Offering case studies and comparative research, it analyses recent political events in the US, UK, France and Belgium. This book is essential reading for scholars and students of populism and far-right politics who seek to make sense of recent world-altering events.
Introduction: populism in the twenty-first century: from the fringe to the mainstream Lise Esther Herman and James Muldoon; PART I Changing strategies in the PRR political landscape 1 The mainstreaming of far-right extremism online and how to counter it: a case study on UK, US and French elections Jacob Davey, Erin Marie Saltman and Jonathan Birdwell;2 Populisms in Europe: leftist, rightist, centrist and paternalist–nationalist challengers Zsolt Enyedi and Martin Mölder; 3 Populist nationalism and ontological security: the construction of moral antagonisms in the United Kingdom, Switzerland and Belgium Joseph Lacey;4 Left, right, but no in-between: explaining American polarisation and post-factualism under President Trump Christopher Sebastian Parker, Sebastian Mayer and Nicole Buckley; 5 Paving the way for Trump: the Tea Party’s invisible influence on the 2016 election Kristin Haltinner; 6 "Ni droite, Ni gauche, Français!" Far right populism and the future of Left/Right politics Marta Lorimer PART II The impact of the PRR on mainstream politics 7 Populist radical right mainstreaming and challenges to democracy in an enlarged Europe Bartek Pytlas; 8 The weight of negativity: the impact of immigration perceptions on the Brexit vote Sarah Harrison; 9 From soft to hard Brexit: UKIP’s not so invisible influence on the Eurosceptic radicalisation of the Conservative Party since 2015 Agnès Alexandre-Collier; 10 So close, yet so far: the French Front National and Les Républicains (2007–2017) Florence Haegel and Nonna Mayer; 11 There’s something about Marine: strategies against the far right in the 2017 French presidential elections Lise Esther Herman and James Muldoon