Why do radical right-wing parties with an anti-immigrant message succeed in some western European countries but fail in others? Why do the citizens of Belgium, Germany, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom seem more resistant to nationalist appeals than their counterparts in France, Italy, and the Netherlands? Analysts have suggested a number of variables, including electoral rules, immigration levels, and the ability of certain right-wing parties to craft neoliberal economic appeals. Art’s book concentrates on another factor: the ability of the parties to recruit and retain leaders and members who are reassuringly educated, experienced, and moderate. For this, they rely on long-standing political subcultures, built on historical memories and prevailing social norms. The rigor of Art’s analysis may be open to debate, but his book is a useful reminder of the tremendous diversity in how western European societies face modern political challenges.
Enjoy more high-quality articles like this one.
Become a subscriber.
- Paywall-free reading of new articles posted daily online and almost a century of archives
- Unlock access to iOS/Android apps to save editions for offline reading
- Six issues a year in print, online, and audio editions