This article raises some doubts as to whether the contemporary extreme right in France, Italy and the UK should be perceived as something particularly novel, and instead the image of a Janus-faced party family and a contemporarised neo-fascism is proposed as a more realistic conceptual model. This article challenges the assumption of the existence of a specific national-populist party family in France as well as the idea that populism should be perceived as the main and foremost feature of certain extremist parties. It is also suggested that the use of labels such as populism as a political category may serve as an indirect, and unintended, form of democratic legitimisation for such parties that still manifest neo-fascist, xenophobic and undemocratic tendencies. The article also calls for the use of other methodologies – including a long-term historical enquiry – to complement pure political science in the study of modern extremism.
|Number of pages
|Journal of Contemporary European Studies
|Published - 2009
- extremism, democracy, fascism, neo-fascism, populism, national-populism