From radical right to neo-nationalist: A research note on the Danish case

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In a recently published article in European Political Science, my colleague Sarah Valdez and I show that nationalism not only increasingly characterizes contemporary radical right parties but also increasingly distinguishes them from other major party families in Western Europe. To demonstrate this, we relied on data from the Manifesto Project, a cross-national, longitudinal database of political party manifestos that allow for comparisons of party positions and their salience over time. Our sample included 1497 party manifestos in 225 elections between 1970 and 2015. 134 of these were radical right party manifestos. I summarized this cross-national research in a previous CARR blog, “The Return of Nationalism and the Rise of the Radical Right.”

Our interest in how the ideology of the radical right has changed over time motivated our use of cross-national data and methods, and our analyses revealed clear trends despite party idiosyncrasies and variation in country contexts. Nevertheless, in our conversations, we began discussing particular countries and the extent to which they fit the patterns we observed. Country case studies are valuable not only for the details of that specific case but also for better understanding a phenomenon in a larger group of countries. Sarah’s extensive knowledge of the Danish case made it an easy choice for further empirical investigation. Also, previous scholarship has identified Denmark as a useful case for research on the radical right.

We are sharing those analyses of Danish party politics, in the form of a research note, at CARR. The note includes studies similar to those found in our analyses of nationalism as well as those found in our first collaboration on this topic, which also examined changes in the prominence of right-wing and left-wing economic positions among parties described as radical right. The empirical findings in the research note are consistent with claims made in other case studies of the Danish radical right, but our results also provide a country-level example of the trends that we document in our cross-national research.

To download the pdf version of the report please go to: From radical right to neo-nationalist: Danish party politics, 1973-2011

Dr Maureen Eger is a Senior Fellow at CARR and is a Research Fellow at the Department of Sociology, Umeå University, Sweden. Her profile can be found here.

© Maureen Eger. Views expressed on this website are individual contributors and do not necessarily reflect that of the Centre for Analysis of the Radical Right (CARR). We are pleased to share previously unpublished materials with the community under creative commons license 4.0 (Attribution-NoDerivatives).