This book provides a comprehensive and detailed analysis of the five main parties of the extreme right in the Netherlands (Centrumdemocraten, Centrumpartij), Belgium (Vlaams Blok), and Germany (Die Republikaner, Deutsche Volksunion). Using primary research — including internal party documents — it concludes that rather than right-wing and extremist, the core ideology of these parties is xenophobic nationalist, including also a mix of law and order and welfare chauvinism. The author's research and conclusions have broader implications for the study of the extreme-right phenomenon and party ideology in general.
The extreme right party family
Studies of political parties have been based on a multiplicity of both scholarly
and political theories, and have focused on a variety of internal and external
aspects. As is common within the scientific community, complaints have been
voiced about the lack of knowledge in particular areas of the field, such as
party (as) organisations (Mair 1994), partyideology (Von Beyme 1985), and
minor or small parties (Fischer 1980; Müller-Rommel 1991). However, even
though a lot of work certainly remains to
traditional bipolar format of
French politics. It will then move on to analyse the historical and political
factors underlying the split, the electoral performances of the two parties
that emerged from this critical breakdown and the key features of partyideology within the extreme, right pole. Third, it will address the electoral
prospects of the FN and MNR in the light of their results in the
presidential and legislative elections of spring 2002.
Extreme-right politics and party system change in the mid-1990s
A glance at the results of elections over the past fifteen
prisoners of war in short trials in the Soviet Union in
1949/50 (!)’ (REP 1990: 12). The underlying sentiment seems to be personal
rather than political and can best be summarised as: ‘Our fathers were no
criminals’ (Rep 7/91).
The REP originated as a conservative party, ideologically close to its mother
party CSU. Its first programme contains a moderate nationalist outlook,
allowing room for support of the EC, NATO and Third World countries. Its
socio-economic policy entailed full support of the social market economy,
combining a fairly open economy with the
This chapter argues that the ideas of duty and responsibility defended by communitarianism were used by New Labour to water down the party's commitment to equality. It begins with a brief explanation of communitarian ideas, and focuses on the works of 'prescriptive communitarians', given that it was these thinkers who had an influence on New Labour's thinking. The chapter deals with the link between ideas on community and socialism. The idea of community was present in Tony Blair's Third Way pamphlet, in which he defended a 'politics of "us" rather than "me"', one that would be based on 'an ethic of responsibility as well as rights'. The chapter is concerned with the narrative on social exclusion-social inclusion, which sheds light on New Labour's approach to poverty and social inequalities. It ends with a discussion of the implications of those deviations for the party's ideology.
ideological programme, it has never developed an ideology (of its own) and has proven very inconsistent in its terminology.
Evaluating the analysis
Most studies of partyideology use only election programmes as the source
of analysis. These programmes have the advantage of being officially
endorsed by the party membership or leadership and consequently ‘represent and express the policy collectively adopted by the party’ (Borg 1966:
97). However, this is also the main problem with election programmes: that
is, they deal with policy rather than ideology. If this analysis had
Gazetteer, p. 79.
Thomas, EHR, 74 (1959), 623–5.
Brewer, PartyIdeology and Popular Politics, pp. 141–3. The calculation
is mine. A contemporary readership estimate of only ten per paper is cited
by Barker, Newspapers, Politics and Public Opinion, p. 23.
Peters, EHR, 86 (1971), 206–27.
Thomas, John Wilkes, pp. 19–26.
Walpole, Letters, VII, 369. Even radical journalist John Almon commented in 1770 that the Whisperer was ‘detestable in the highest degree’.
London Museum, May 1770, p. 267.
Thomas, EHR, 74 (1959), 626–32. Simmons and Thomas, Proceedings
and Debates, V, vii
various themes. The
newspapers, on the other hand, are extensive in number of issues and pages,
yet mainly address a few limited topics. Moreover, they are directed at their
own readership of which only a part are (also) members of the DVU. Hence,
the content of the party programmes will be at the centre of the description
of the partyideology.
The DVU is first and foremost a nationalist party. The struggle for a German
Germany is the only prominent feature in both sources of literature.
Whether the party is state or ethnic nationalist is impossible to
in 1996 only twice; CD-Actueel has not been distributed since 1993. In April
1997 CD-Info was renamed CD-Nieuwsbrief (CD-Newsletter), which was
also the only change made. In terms of counting, lay-out, content, and irregular publishing the paper is identical to its predecessor.
The Netherlands for the Dutch first!
The main ideological feature of the partyideology of the CD is nationalism,
aptly caught in the (old) party slogan ‘The Netherlands (in the first place) for
Ideology is … a system of definite views,
ideas, conceptions, and notions adhered to by some class or
political party. [Ideology] is always a reflection of the economic
system predominant at any given time. ( Soviet Philosophical
Dictionary , 1954)
Political debate is widespread in
society. Whether we are aware of it or not, most of us are, at a very