What explains the cross-national variation in the radical right's electoral success over the last several decades? Challenging existing structural and institutional accounts, this book analyzes the dynamics of party building and explores the attitudes, skills and experiences of radical right activists in eleven different countries. Based on extensive field research and an original data set of radical right candidates for office, David Art links the quality of radical right activists to broader patterns of success and failure. He demonstrates how a combination of historical legacies and incentive structures produced activists who helped party building in some cases and doomed it in others. In an age of rising electoral volatility and the fading of traditional political cleavages, Inside the Radical Right makes a strong case for the importance of party leaders and activists as masters of their own fate.
David Art is Associate Professor of Political Science at Tufts University. He is the author of The Politics of the Nazi Past in Germany and Austria (Cambridge University Press, 2006), as well as articles on the radical right in journals such as Comparative Politics, German Politics and Society and Party Politics. Art is co-convenor of the European Consortium for Political Research's Standing Group on Extremism and Democracy. During 2008-9, he was a Max Weber Fellow at the European University Institute and has been awarded grants from the Fulbright Program, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies at Harvard University.
1. Introduction; 2. Activists and party development; 3. Parties of poor souls; 4. Nationalist subcultures; 5. Party transformation and flash parties; 6. Reforming the old right?; 7. Conclusion; Appendix A. Percentage of the vote for radical right parties in national parliamentary elections; Appendix B. Coding procedure for radical right party lists; Appendix C. ISCO codes for radical right candidates for office.