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Title: Introduction: studying populism in European party systems
Authors: Van Kessel, Stijn
Keywords: Political Science
Issue Date: 2015
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
Citation: VAN KESSEL, S. 2015. Introduction: studying populism in European party systems. IN: van Kessel, S. (ed.) Populist Parties in Europe. Agents of Discontent? Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, pp.1-32.
Abstract: Populism is a concept that is currently in vogue among political commentators and is, more often than not, used pejoratively. The phenomenon of populism is typically seen as something adverse and, in the European context, routinely related to xenophobic politics. What populism exactly is and who its representatives across Europe are, however, often remains unclear. This text has two main aims: to identify populist parties in 21st-century Europe and to explain their electoral performance. It argues that populist parties should not be dismissed as dangerous pariahs out of hand but, rather, that their rise tells us something about the state of representative democracy. The study also shows that the performance of populist parties is to a large extend dependent on their own ability to present themselves as credible alternatives to the established parties. The study has a broad scope, including populist parties of various ideological kinds – thus moving beyond examples of the 'right' – and covering long-established Western European countries as well as post-communist countries in Central and Eastern Europe. It presents the results of an innovative mixed-methods research project, combining a fuzzy set Qualitative Comparative Analysis (fsQCA) of 31 European countries with three in-depth case studies of the Netherlands, Poland and the United Kingdom.
Description: This book chapter is closed access until 4th February 2018.
Version: Accepted for publication
DOI: 10.1057/9781137414113
URI: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/18410
Publisher Link: http://www.palgrave.com/page/detail/populist-parties-in-europe-stijn-van-kessel/?K=9781137414106
ISBN: 1137414103
9781137414106
9781137414120
9781137414113
Appears in Collections:Closed Access (PHIR)

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