jump to navigation
Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (Logo)
Cover: Exposing the Demagogues

Exposing the Demagogues

Right-wing and National Populist Parties in Europe

Berlin, Sep. 17, 2013
ISBN: 978-930632-26-1
Ed.: Karsten Grabow, Florian Hartleb

Download PDF


Europe's right-wing and national populist parties are on the upswing, even despite some recent electoral setbacks. They have entered parliaments across Europe and some parties are even participating in national governments. What is remarkable is that right-wing and national populist parties have changed their mobilisation tactics. While predominantly xenophobic in the past, right-wing populists now mobilise against further European integration-and not without success.


For all actors involved in EU politics, these developments should be taken seriously. As political think tanks either directly involved in EU politics or deeply committed to the idea of European integration, the Centre for European Studies (CES) and the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) analyse the reasons behind the advance of Europe's right-wing populist parties. In addition,this volume discusses possible response strategies for the member parties of the European People's Party in order to counter the progress of right-wing and national populists.

Table of Contents

Foreword 3

Preface 9

Part I: Introduction 11

Karsten Grabow and Florian Hartleb
Mapping Present-day Right-wing Populists 13

Part II: Country Studies

A. Western Europe 45

Reinhard Heinisch
Austrian Right-wing Populism: A Surprising Comeback under a New Leader 47

Teun Pauwels
Belgium: Decline of National Populism? 81

Andreas M. Klein
The End of Solidarity? On the Development of Right-wing Populist Parties in Denmark and Sweden 105

Tapio Raunio
The Finns: Filling a Gap in the Party System 133

Magali Balent
The French National Front from Jean-Marie to Marine Le Pen: Between Change and Continuity 161

Paul Lucardie and Gerrit Voerman
Geert Wilders and the Party for Freedom in the Netherlands: A Political Entrepreneur in the Polder 187

Anders Ravik Jupskås
The Progress Party: A Fairly Integrated Part of the Norwegian Party System? 205

Oscar Mazzoleni
Between Opposition and Government: The Swiss People’s Party 237

B. Central and Eastern Europe 261

Ainė Ramonaitė and Vesta Ratkevičiūtė
The Lithuanian Case: National Populism Without Xenophobia 263

Olga Wysocka
Polish Populism: Time for Settlement 293

Grigorij Mesežnikov and Oľga Gyárfašová
The Slovak National Party: A Fading Comet? On the Ups and Downs of Right-wing and National Populism in Slovakia 323

Part III: Comparative Analysis and Transnational Cooperation 351

Florian Hartleb
Populism in Western and Eastern Europe Compared 353

Petra Vejvodová
A Thorny Way to Find Friends: Transnational Cooperation and Network-building amongst Right-wing and National Populist Parties 373

Part IV: Political Implications 397

Karsten Grabow and Florian Hartleb
Strategic Responses to the Populists’ Advance: Options for Christian Democratic and Conservative Parties 399

Contributors 411

Action Award für "Exposing the Demagogues"
    Hohe Auszeichnung für die Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung: Bei der Generalversammlung des Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies wurde die gemeinsame Publikation "Exposing the Demagogues" mit dem "Action Award 2013" ausgezeichnet.

    In der Begründung der Jury heißt es:

  • Visibility: with more than 1.000 views on our website, Exposing the Demagogues was by far the most popular CES publication in 2013. We developed a large campaign on Euractiv (more than 45.000 views) and Facebook, where the posters we created with the slogan ‘Populists are problem seekers, not problem solvers’, translated into all the languages of the countries covered by the studies, reached 25.000 people.
  • Impact of the project on society/wider public: the first edition was such a success that the book had to be reprinted. KAS distributed it to many of its regional offices and at the beginning of 2014 a new, shorter and updated version (Europe, no thanks?) was released and distributed at the EPP Congress in Dublin. This booklet, published in German and English, aimed at conveying the main messages of the main publication while making them more accessible to the wider public.
  • European added value: in view of the upcoming European elections, it has become clear that in many countries the main issue will be how to counter the arguments of populist movements. While other political opponents may have a different vision of Europe than the EPP one, populists challenge the European idea itself and are therefore much more dangerous. The EPP and its member parties need to better understand this phenomenon and exchange experiences and best practices in order to be prepared to tackle the problem, and Exposing the Demagogues helps them with that.
  • Professional level of speakers and authors: each national chapter has been written by a renowned author from that particular country and submitted to a peer review that guaranteed the high academic standard of the publication.
  • Relevance for CES research priorities and EPP policies: countering the arguments of our political opponents is of course one of the main priorities for both the EPP and CES in view of the 2014 European elections. Exposing the Demagogues has been the first of a series of initiatives aiming at providing concrete answers for EPP members facing political opponents during the campaign. It was soon followed, as well as the Europe, no thanks? booklet, by an 8 page internal paper produced in cooperation with the EPP Group, which outlines the essential arguments used by populist parties in the campaign so far, and proposes possible answers from an EPP perspective.

jump to start