• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

"In Europe, extreme right-wing parties only do well when they are headed by a charismatic party leader".

Extracts from this document...


" In Europe, extreme right-wing parties only do well when they are headed by a charismatic party leader". Introduction Over the last number of decades, the European Political system has observed the growth in popularity of the extreme right-wing party. This is a hotly debated topic among many European politicians, as the rise of the Right-Wing echoes for many the forgettable era of Hitler and Mussolini. Right Wing Extremism generally preaches the following: agitation against the integration of foreigners or refugees and to curb immigration, rejection of social equality, the reestablishment of authoritarian hierarchies and traditional female roles and so on. In the same way as the Nazis blamed the Jews as the cause of all evil, 'foreigners' are frequently referred to as 'scapegoats' and are held responsible for unemployment, crime and decay in society (Bailer, 1996). The majority of the extreme right wing conceals their xenophobic prejudices behind the harmless ideals of preserving their countries cultural inheritance and national identity. These parties also usually are presented as a vehicle for their leaders personal beliefs. In this essay, I intend to look at three countries - Austria, France and the Netherlands - and the unmitigated rise in support for their right-wing parties. I intend to closely look at their party leaders and question is it ultimately their leadership skills and charisma that has led the meteoric rise of the right-wing? France One of the most prominent voices on the extreme far-right is the leader of the French National Front party, Jean Marie le Pen. ...read more.


but more so on the ability of the FPO to capitalise on the widespread disillusionment with traditional, governing Austrian parties. There was increasing dissatisfaction among the public with the Austrian government, with middle class people claiming their social status and material security were being threatened. Proportional representation, as employed in Austria, prevented any opposition to government policies and therefore the political and powerful elite remained uncontested. An 'organised conspiracy' against the people took place as economic favouritism and nepotism developed and spun out of control. "The aim is to complete the liberal ideas of constitutional and free rights through the liberation of the people from the political parties...By this means the power cartels of the grand coalition, into which both the main parties have fled in order to maintain their areas of power, will be stripped of their significance". - Haider (Rodenberg & Rippert, 1999) Haider and the FPO observed this disillusionment and waxed together as the other parties waned. Haider cleverly and shrewdly began drawing support from two sides - those who felt excluded by the old system and those who benefited from that system, but felt those benefits were being threatened. What is interesting about Haider is that his policies are scarce, instead he employs a 'vote-getting' attitude, he calls for action in areas where he knows there is no chance of change or amendment, and in areas where action has already been taken. Haider is the ultimate employer of the worst type of social demagogy - he makes impassioned appeals to the prejudices and emotions of the populace, he whored the vulnerability of the young and the anger of the blue collared workers who became unemployed. ...read more.


Internal squabbling and power feuds led their partners in government to abandon them and in the 2003 elections, two-thirds of the parties seats were lost. Treanor believes that another charismatic figure can repeat his success if he/she appeals to the same ideology that Fortuyn stuck to. The immense reactions of both the public and media following his death showed the strength of his support, and the strength of nationalism support today. Fortuyn, although openly racist and xenophobic, exuded an air of style and charisma rarely matched, and succeeded with merit in winning the trust of the Dutch people who shared his ideals. Conclusion The rise of the extreme right-wing has been one of the most interesting, if controversial, aspects of the European political system to date. Le Pen, Haider and Fortuyn are each comparable to one another. They each shared similar policies and ideologies that were intrinsically racist ethno-national. What set them apart however, is how they executed such policies and used their leadership skills, personality and charisma to communicate their beliefs. Fortuyn, proved most successful in turning a period of political disillusionment in Netherlands to his own advantage and along with his charismatic appeal, proved a successful political figure throughout his life. Haider also exploited people's anger with the political elite in Austria, but was a contradictory and inconsistent politician, which eventually led to his party suffering huge losses in 2000 and a continuous decline in popularity. Le Pen, finally, proved an organised and focused figure and was charismatic in his executions, but his strong use of language and intimidating fashion takes away from respect that he sometimes deserved. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree UK Government & Parliamentary Studies section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related University Degree UK Government & Parliamentary Studies essays

  1. Are all parties now 'catch-all' parties? The UK is a prime example of Kirchheimers ...

    the right of the other party, they will obtain all of the votes to the right of that position. Consequently, both parties will aim for a political position virtually the same as their opponents, with both parties driven to select the political position of the median voter.

  2. How can we understand the rise of the SNP in Scotland? This essay is ...

    the rise of the SNP in this period, in terms of political developments the modernisation from the 'old SNP' to the 'new SNP' was crucial. The 'old SNP's' amateurish approach as a catch all party was replaced by 'new SNP' in the 1980s which situated itself on the left of

  1. Outstanding Leader - Nelson Rolihlahala Mandela.

    He rejected the last offer of release because of a condition requiring him to renounce violence. Bowing to global and domestic pressure, Mandela was finally released on February 11, 1990 after serving for nearly 30 years in prison. Two years later, together with F.W.

  2. If social class no longer determines party allegiance in the UK, what does?

    They are already supporters of that party and the broadcast only reinforces their views (pp. 136-137). Denver (2003) presents a similar argument about the press. For him, there is evidence that people read certain newspapers, all of which are clearly partisan, in order to ensure and reinforce their party loyalties.

  1. In what ways, if any, is the UK Parliament more than the instrument of ...

    The Thatcher government withdrew proposals to increase parental contribution to students in higher education (1984); withdrew proposals to sell off parts of British Leyland to General Motors (1986); and withdrew proposals to introduce identity cards for football spectators (1990). More recently, the Blair government faced dissension in its own party

  2. Free essay

    Does the Irish rejection of the Draft Constitutional Treaty signal that democracy is alive ...

    There is the possibility of certain current national issues affecting the decision. This tells us that the very nature of referendums is contested because of affecting factors, coupled with a potentially uneducated or even misinformed on the topic in question.

  1. Analyse the ideological differences between the three main political parties in Britain and explain ...

    This ideology bore out during the Thatcherite years when nearly all nationally own services were privatised. In 19-this ideology was responsible for one of if not the longest industrial actions ever seen in the UK, the minors strike. Led by Arthur Scargill a staunch unionist the miners downed tools for over a year in rebellion of government pit closures.

  2. Modern Studies Dissertation

    The American electoral system is majority representation. The first party or the second possesses most seats. As a result, third parties have very limited opportunity to take seats in Congress, even though holding sizeable national wide support. Even if the third party, which has taken roots in a certain region,

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work