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Far right-wing parties have gained dramatically in many West European countries since the early 1980s. Recent cross-national studies distinguish between neo-fascist parties, which are anti-democratic and anti-capitalist, and radical right-wing parties which combine anti-immigration appeals with pro-capitalist, neo-liberal economic positions, social conservatism, and a basic acceptance of representative democracy. While the former have been stagnant and unimportant, the latter have been gaining. Yet there are also borderline cases where it is more difficult to determine whether the party rejects fascism and accepts democracy, a problem which the theoretical literature has neglected. The far right's success is largely due to the politicization of immigration issues, political alienation, and backlashes against welfare states.


This work was originally published in Comparative Politics.



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