The Rise of the Radical Right
Pippa Norris Books



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Radical Right:

Voters and Parties in the regulated market

Pippa Norris

Publication by Cambridge University Press, New York/Cambridge UK

352 pages
Not yet published - available from August 2005
ISBN:052161385X | ISBN13:9780521613859
c. $24.99 (paperback) $70.00 (hardback)

Radical Right


During recent decades, radical right parties have been surging in popularity in many nations, gaining legislative seats, enjoying the legitimacy endowed by ministerial office, and entering the corridors of government power. The popularity of leaders such as Le Pen, Haider, and Fortuyn has aroused widespread popular concern and a burgeoning scholarly literature. Despite the interest, little consensus has emerged about the primary factors driving this phenomenon. The core puzzle is to explain why radical right parties have advanced in a diverse array of democracies – such as in Austria, Canada, Norway, France, Italy, New Zealand, Switzerland, Israel, Romania, Russia, and Chile - while failing to make comparable gains in similar societies elsewhere, including in Sweden, Britain, and the United States.

To understand this phenomenon, the book sees party competition as a regulated electoral marketplace, where the rules shape both electoral ‘demand’ and party ‘supply’. On the demand-side, Radical Right suggests that the growth of political disaffection and partisan dealignment in contemporary democracies make it easier for supporters to defect, at least temporarily, from mainstream parties. The rising salience of cultural protectionism, in a backlash against globalization and population migration, has altered public opinion, providing sporadic openings for new parties. But these developments are common across contemporary societies so they are insufficient by themselves to account for the varying fortunes of the radical right. We need to understand how ‘demand’ interacts with ‘supply’, namely how parties respond to the electorate when crafting their values and building their campaign organizations, within the constraints set by the broader institutional rules.

This book expands our understanding of support for radical right parties through presenting an integrated new theory which is then tested systematically using a wealth of cross-national survey evidence covering almost forty countries, facilitating a broader perspective than ever before.

Radical Right is designed for anyone interested in electoral studies and voting behavior, comparative politics, political behavior and institutions, political parties, public opinion, political sociology, political psychology, sociology, and European politics.


Copyright 2004 Pippa Norris, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, Cambridge MA 02138.

Last updated 12/06/2009