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Extreme Right in Western Europe: Theory, Methodology and Comparative Approaches



The extreme right has been one of the most growing political phenomenon, experiencing electoral success throughout the Western democracies. In this module, the students will focus on the study of extreme right and familiarise with theoretical and conceptual debates, by exploring their political and ideological characteristics but also explore related concepts like ‘radicalism’, ‘extremism’, ‘populism’, ‘ethno-nationalism’ and issues like ‘violence’ and ‘terrorism’. This module introduces students to the academic literature and is aiming to answer questions regarding the identity of radical right, the reasons behind its emergence and popularity, the morphological variations, the relation between extreme right and representative democracies. The module will familiarise students with different methodological approaches e.g. emphasising on manifestos, organisational structures, leadership and introduces some methodological debates Finally, the module addresses a comparative aspect by examining different case studies and exploring their electoral behaviour and influence, voter profiles and try to draw some conclusions on correlations between the socio-economic context and the electoral impact of extreme right and through some light to the broader implications of the emergence of extreme right.

Course objectives

  • Demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of the debates surrounding the extreme right in western Europe

  • Understand the relationship between the extreme right and the historical factors and circumstances that contributed to its emergence as well as identify the similarities and distinctions between parties

  • Develop an understanding and ability to identify, describe and critically assess the extreme right ideas, ideologies and policy positions and contribute to the conceptual and definitional debate of the extreme right

  • Evaluate the impact of the extreme right on west European politics and analyse the dynamics of electoral behavior and party competition in western European countries

  • Relate the academic study of extreme right to questions of public and political concern

Mode of instruction


Assessment method

Response papers (20%), Final Essay (40%), Presentation (30%), Participation (10%)

Reading list

The Populist Radical Right: A Reader. Cas Mudde (ed.). Routledge. 2017


See general info on tab 'Year 3'