In This Review

Radical Right-Wing Populism in Western Europe
Radical Right-Wing Populism in Western Europe
By Hans-Georg Betz
St. Martin's Press, 1994, 222 pp

A survey of the varying fortunes of radical right-wing parties in all the West European countries, Austria emphatically included. The author, a young scholar, documents the chauvinistic, often racist characteristics of these parties, which exploit pervasive disillusionment with existing parties -- strikingly in the case of Italy. Betz relies heavily on quantitative evidence and shows that these parties seem to attract more men than women, more young than old. These parties are a serious challenge to the older conservative parties, and Betz says too little about how some of the latter have moved to the right in order to absorb some of this populist vote. These developments, so clearly inimical to liberal democracy, require deeper studies. Future studies could begin at home by including our own brand of right-wing radicalism.