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Strategies of mainstream parties towards their right-wing populist challengers: Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland in comparison

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Although right-wing populist parties (RPPs) have established themselves in most European countries, the academic discourse on political strategies towards them has been slow to start. This article compares the strategic reactions of the mainstream parties in the Nordic countries. The main findings are threefold: (1) in Denmark, Norway and Finland there has been a gradual change from various disengage to engage strategies over time, while in Sweden there has always been a strong cordon sanitaire; (2) one key difference has been in the speed and extent of the strategy changes; and (3) the choice of strategies, which is a very complex process, can be traced back to a combination of factors at the individual, party and systemic levels. There is a need for more research into the impacts and effectiveness of the strategies, the timing of the choice of strategies and the potential learning effects of political parties.
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Keywords: Nordic countries; Right-wing populism; mainstream parties; party strategies

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Political Science, Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Jena, Germany

Publication date: March 4, 2018

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