Right-wing populism

Right-wing populism is a political ideology which combines right-wing politics and populist rhetoric and themes. The rhetoric often consists of anti-elitist sentiments, opposition to the Establishment and speaking for the common people.

In Europe, right-wing populism is an expression used to describe groups, politicians and political parties generally known for their opposition to immigration,[1] mostly from the Islamic world[2] and in most cases Euroscepticism.[3] Right-wing populism in the Western world is generally—though not exclusively—associated with ideologies such as neo-nationalism,[4][5] anti-globalization,[6] nativism,[7][8] protectionism[9] and opposition to immigration.[10] Anti-Muslim ideas and sentiments serve as the "great unifiers" among right-wing political formations throughout Western Europe.[11] Traditional right-wing views such as opposition to an increasing support for the welfare state and a "more lavish, but also more restrictive, domestic social spending" scheme is also described under right-wing populism and is sometimes called "welfare chauvinism".[12][13][14]

From the 1990s, right-wing populist parties became established in the legislatures of various democracies, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Romania and Sweden; and they entered coalition governments in Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Chile, Finland, Greece, Italy,[15] Israel, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Slovakia and Switzerland; and majority governments in India, Turkey, Hungary and Poland. Although extreme right-wing movements in the United States have been studied separately, where they are normally called "radical right", some writers consider them to be a part of the same phenomenon.[16] Right-wing populism in the United States is also closely linked to paleoconservatism.[17] Right-wing populism is distinct from conservatism, but several right-wing populist parties have their roots in conservative political parties.[18] Other populist parties have links to fascist movements founded during the interwar period when Italian, German, Hungarian, Spanish and Japanese fascism rose to power.

Since the Great Recession,[19][20][21] right-wing populist movements such as the National Rally (formerly the National Front) in France, the Northern League in Italy, the Party for Freedom in the Netherlands and the UK Independence Party began to grow in popularity,[22][23] in large part because of increasing opposition to immigration from the Middle East and Africa, rising Euroscepticism and discontent with the economic policies of the European Union.[24] U.S. President Donald Trump's 2016 political views have been summarized by pundits as right-wing populist[25] and nationalist.[26][27]


Classification of right-wing populism into a single political family has proved difficult and it is not certain whether a meaningful category exists, or merely a cluster of categories since the parties differ in ideology, organization and leadership rhetoric. Unlike traditional parties, they also do not belong to international organizations of like-minded parties, and they do not use similar terms to describe themselves.[28]

Scholars use terminology inconsistently, sometimes referring to right-wing populism as "radical right"[29] or other terms such as new nationalism.[30] Pippa Norris noted that "standard reference works use alternate typologies and diverse labels categorising parties as 'far' or 'extreme' right, 'new right', 'anti-immigrant' or 'neofascist', 'antiestablishment', 'national populist', 'protest', 'ethnic', 'authoritarian', 'antigovernment', 'antiparty', 'ultranationalist', 'neoliberal', 'right-libertarian' and so on".[31]

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