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Populist Parties in Europe

Agents of Discontent?

Authors: van Kessel, Stijn

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About this book

Populism is a concept that is currently in vogue among political commentators and, more often than not, used pejoratively. The phenomenon of populism is typically seen as something adverse and, in the European context routinely related to xenophobic politics. What populism exactly is and who its main representatives are, however, often remains unclear. This text has two main aims: to identify populist parties in 21st century Europe and to explain their electoral performance. It argues that populist parties should not be dismissed as dangerous pariahs out of hand but rather that their rise tells us something about the state of representative democracy.

The study has a broad scope, including populist parties of various ideological kinds – thus moving beyond examples of the ‘right’ – and covering long-established Western European countries as well as post-communist countries in Central and Eastern Europe. It presents the results of an innovative mixed-methods research project, combining a fuzzy set Qualitative Comparative Analysis (fsQCA) of populist parties in 31 European countries with three in-depth case studies of the Netherlands, Poland and the United Kingdom.

About the authors

Stijn van Kessel is Lecturer in Politics at Loughborough University, UK, and was previously an Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung Postdoctoral Fellow at the Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf, Germany. He completed his doctoral research at the University of Sussex in 2011, and has published several book chapters and articles, including for leading publications such as Government and Opposition, Acta Politica and the Journal of Political Ideologies.

Reviews

“Kessel explores their role as agents of discontent in three European countries where power has eluded them. … he explores the shifting priorities of the literature and offers a useful typology of populism, as well as a survey of performances in different parts of Europe that is bound to be helpful to students.” (Tom Gallagher, International Affairs, Vol. 91 (6), 2015)

'This book brilliantly bridges the gap between big datasets and detailed case studies to add significantly to our understanding of populist parties' electoral successes. The key, it seems, is not just the inadequacies of their mainstream rivals but also the credibility of the insurgents. This is a great example of the way comparative methods can say something important not just to academics but to politicians who operate in the real world.'

< Tim Bale, Professor of Politics, Queen Mary University of London, UK

'An important and very timely contribution to our understanding of populism and populist parties. Van Kessel provides an excellent treatment of the concept of populism and adopts an innovative approach to explain the varying fortunes of these parties. The coverage is extensive, the research is empirically rich, and the findings are interesting and convincing.'

Elisabeth Carter, Senior Lecturer in Politics, Keele University, UK

'Stijn van Kessel brings a refreshing approach to the increasingly stale study of populist electoral success in Europe by going beyond the populist radical right, employing mixed-methods (i.e. fsQCA and case studies), and focusing on the agency of populist actors themselves.'

Cas Mudde, Associate Professor in the Department of International Affairs, University of Georgia, USA


Table of contents (7 chapters)

  • Introduction: Studying Populism in European Party Systems

    Kessel, Stijn

    Pages 1-32

  • Populist Parties across Europe

    Kessel, Stijn

    Pages 33-73

  • Paths to Populist Electoral Success and Failure: fsQCA Analysis

    Kessel, Stijn

    Pages 74-98

  • Populist Parties in the Netherlands

    Kessel, Stijn

    Pages 99-120

  • Populist Parties in Poland

    Kessel, Stijn

    Pages 121-143

Buy this book

eBook $24.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-137-41411-3
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $110.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-137-41410-6
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $34.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-349-49012-7
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Populist Parties in Europe
Book Subtitle
Agents of Discontent?
Authors
Copyright
2015
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan UK
Copyright Holder
Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited
eBook ISBN
978-1-137-41411-3
DOI
10.1057/9781137414113
Hardcover ISBN
978-1-137-41410-6
Softcover ISBN
978-1-349-49012-7
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
IX, 239
Topics