Synopses & Reviews
This book contends that far-right parties play pivotal roles in setting the tone of political debates, shaping the political party system, and structuring government policy. Increasingly, as national governments attempt to cope with new realities of greater global migration, strained welfare states, and threats of foreign terror, opportunities have opened for parties of the far right to position themselves strategically.
"Although it is self-evident that radical right-wing political parties across contemporary Western Europe foster and exploit popular anti-immigrant sentiment, it is less clear to what extent they exercise significant political influence. In a well-executed and intellectually engaging study, Williams surprisingly concludes that for at least three prominent country cases right-wing parties exercise far more influence on agenda setting and public policy than they do on the positions adopted by mainstream parties on immigration-related issues. After years of scholarly neglect, her analysis is an enlightening first cut at the important question of the degree to which these 'peripheral' parties matter for politics and policy."--Anthony M. Messina, Professor of Political Science, University of Notre Dame "In this book, Michelle Williams has produced a well-researched and theoretically innovative analysis of the extreme right in Europe. Combining case-study and comparative approaches, she breaks new ground in focusing on the role of peripheral parties in agenda setting and their impact on the party system and the polity as a whole. It is an important contribution to the study of political parties in Western democracies."--William Safran, University of Colorado at Boulder "Michelle Hale Williams' book is an important contribution to the comparative study of the radical right in Europe, in particular of its impact on the political system. The study contains a wealth of original research and significantly improves our understanding of how the radical right affects the political debate, other parties' strategic behaviour and government policy in crucial issue areas."--Professor Michael Minkenberg, Chair of Comparative Politics, European University Viadrina, Frankfurt (Oder), Germany
About the Author
Michelle Hale Williams is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of West Florida.
Table of Contents
Is the Radical Right Making Noise or Changes? * Why Is So Little Known about Impacts of Peripheral Parties? * A Theory of Peripheral Impact * The Impact of Radical Right Parties across Western Europe * The Entrepreneurial National Front in France * German Parties Have Opportunity without Actualization * The FPO Find a Winning Combination in Leadership and the Third Lager * Peripheral Parties Are Making Changes