World PoliticsПравильная ссылка на статью:
The Characteristics of the Nordic right-wing populism / Характеристики нордического правого популизма
Дата направления статьи в редакцию:25-03-2021
Аннотация: За последние два десятилетия в Европе произошло усиление правых партий, вызванное, среди прочего, серией кризисов, последним из которых стала продолжающаяся глобальная пандемия COVID-19. Финляндия, Швеция, Норвегия и Дания не оказались изолированными от политических и социально-экономических потрясений и толчков подобных событий, и правые популистские партии и движения, принадлежащие к региону Северной Европы, также набрали силу, иногда даже становясь частью правительств. Однако эти партии обладают определенными характеристиками, которые отличают их от своих коллег в остальной части Европы, учитывая особый социальный, политический, экономический и исторический контекст региона. К таким чертам можно отнести шовинизм благосостояния ("welfare chauvinism"), правый эгалитаризм ("right-wing egalitarianism"), авторитарные позиции по социокультурным вопросам ("authoritarian positions on sociocultural issues") и популистские настроения против истеблишмента ("populist, anti-establishment drive"). В то же время эти партии продемонстрировали высокий прагматизм и способность адаптироваться к текущей политической ситуации в своих странах. В этой работе представлен краткий обзор принципов четырех основных правых партий в регионе Северной Европы (Истинные финны, Шведские демократы, Партия прогресса Норвегии и Датская народная партия), а также обсуждаются их различия и сходства.
Ключевые слова: правый популизм, Истинные финны, Шведские демократы, Партия прогресса, Датская народная партия, Регион Северной Европы, политические партии, шовинизм благосостояния, Культурный Нордизм, Скандинавия
Abstract: The last two decades have seen the rise of right-wing parties in Europe, spurred among other things by a series of crises, the latest of which being the ongoing COVID-19 global pandemic. Finland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark did not find themselves isolated from the political and socio-economic shocks and aftershocks of such events, and right-wing populist parties and movements belonging to the Nordic region have also gained strength, sometimes even being a part of governments. However, these parties have certain characteristics that distinguish them from their counterparts in the rest of the Europe, given the specific social, political, economic and historical context of the region. Such traits can be listed as welfare chauvinism, right-wing egalitarianism, authoritarian positions on sociocultural issues, and populist, anti-establishment drive. At the same time, these parties have demonstrated their high pragmatism and ability for adaptation to the current political situation in their countries. In this work a quick overview is presented of the principles of four major right-wing parties in the Nordic region (The Finns Party, Sweden Democrats, Norwegian Progress Party, and Danish People’s Party), and the differences and similarities in their motivations are discussed.
Keywords:Cultural Nordism, welfare chauvinism, political parties, Nordic region, Danish People's Party, Progress Party, Sweden Democrats, The Finns Party, right-wing populism, Scandinavia
The rise of popularity of the right-wing parties in Europe during the last two decades provoked a lot of attention from both scholars and mass media, who sought to understand the phenomena of why some people in the most developed parts of the world have a tendency to give their support and cast their vote for the right-wing populist political movements and parties. It can be argued that in the time of crisis, people have tendency to gather around strong or visionary leaders, especially if they offer simple solutions to complex issues in the country and society. And looking at the European continent, it experienced several crises in the last decade, such as the 2008 international economic crisis, the 2010 EU bailouts via the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) mechanism, the 2015 migration crisis, the Brexit voting and UK’s withdrawal from the EU (2017-2020), and as of the latest, the ongoing COVID-19 global pandemic. All of this tested European unity and solidarity and placed once again national interests of the individual countries above the supra-national interests of the EU as a whole.
In turn, this naturally had an effect on the internal political arena of European countries. The phenomenon of the rise in popularity of the right-wing populist parties in Europe is not a new one – it is rather an ongoing process that is lasting since the early 2000s. Some of the examples include parties such as Sweden Democrats (Sverigedemokraterna ), the Finns Party (Perussuomalaiset ), Alternative for Germany (Alternative für Deutschland ), Italian Five Star Movement (Movimento 5 Stelle ) and Lega (League – rebranded Lega Nord ), Spanish VOX, French National Rally (Rassemblement national – rebranded Front national ), Danish People’s Party (Dansk Folkeparti ), Hungarian Jobbik and Fidesz, Norwegian Progress Party (Fremskrittspartiet) and Polish Law and Justice (Prawo i Sprawiedliwość ), among others.
Although such parties share some common traits such as conservative ideology, respect for Western-Christian and traditional family values, rejection of multiculturalism and strong anti-immigration stance, they can also be different from each other in some ways. Each European region has its own distinctive historical, cultural, political and socio-economic context, within which the countries and societies developed. Therefore, the parties that were listed as an example above are considered to belong to the right-wing populist party family, but at the same time they should also be viewed within their regional context. Or in other words, what is considered as a right-wing populist party in Scandinavia might be viewed as moderate center-right political party in the rest of the Europe and vice versa.
Focusing on the Nordic region, Finland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark did not found themselves isolated from the shocks and aftershocks of the mentioned crises. Social-democratic and liberal governments of these countries came under a lot of pressure from their voters and population to solve a number of issues that started to burden their societies. This in turn meant that some other political options, mainly on the right side of the political spectrum, were starting to gain popularity, and in some cases even to win enough votes to enter coalition governments. Although as of beginning of the 2021 neither of the main right-wing populist parties of these countries are members of the coalition government, they have a possibility of being “kingmaker” political party in their country after the next parliament elections (that being the case for Sweden Democrats and the Finns Party), or to once again become a member of a ruling coalition, as it is the case for the Progress Party. Given such potential, it is important to understand the ideas, motivations and policies of such parties and their leadership, as it is highly likely that right-wing populist political options will neither loose appeal nor influence in the coming decade.
Methodology applied in this research consists of the content-analysis, which was used during the research of the official documents of the Finns Party, Sweden Democrats, Progress Party and the Danish People’s Party, as well as comparative analysis, which was used during the analysis of political programs of these four parties, as well as for the parliament election results and other relevant data. Given the regional historical, political, cultural and socio-economic context, Nordic right-wing parties to a degree differ from their European counterparts. This research thus aims to presents the characteristics of the Nordic right-wing populism. The object of this research is identified as the right-wing parties of Nordic region, and the subject of this research are the main four right-wing populist parties from Finland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark.
Three main waves of Nordic right-wing populism
When speaking about the peculiarities of right-wing populism in the Nordic countries, it is important to take into account slightly different socio-political and economic aspects that exist in the context of these countries compared to the countries of Western Europe. Dr. Eiríkur Bergmann, Professor of Politics at Bifrost University in Iceland, lists several such aspects [1, p. 10]:
· Coordinated market economies within boundaries of democratic welfare nation-states, based on gender equality, nature protection and rigorous bureaucratic regulations;
· Highly redistributive welfare-orientated public services that are supported by relatively high taxes (leading to a generally narrow income gaps);
· High trust in collective institutions, due to the strong democratic traditions;
· Nordic countries’ intra-trading, amounting to around fifth of their international trade;
· Active, but reluctant participation in the European project;
· Highly developed cultural Nordism.
Concept of Nordism, and thus the term “Norden” is described by Bergmann as a “cultural political project, situated between nation and Europe ”, functioning as an intermediary between the national and European levels [1, p. 10]. In his view, the Norden concept holds strong collective connotations, but fails to achieve levels of supranational political integration, and it is rarely positioned as a credible alternative to Europe [1, p. 10]. Nevertheless, it does signal deeper connection between all of the Nordic countries, and thus creates a separate cultural whole from the rest of the Western Europe.
Populism in the Scandinavian region emerged after the Second World War in so-called "waves", coinciding with those which appeared at the same time in the Western Europe. Bergman identifies three main waves of Nordic populist nationalism, arguing that each wave arose as a result of a crisis or major social change, with each of them becoming stronger than the previous one.
The first wave occurred in the 1970s, corresponding to the founding of the French National Front (Front National ) by Jean-Marie Le Pen, who opposed the post-war multiculturalism and immigration, mostly from Muslim countries. In Bergmann’s view, the Nordic countries experienced much milder version of the right-wing populism with the protest movements against rising tax levels. The protests were led by the Danish and Norwegian Progress Parties, who at the time promoted anarcho-liberalism and campaigned against increased economic and bureaucratic burden on the “common man”, while arguing against “wide-scope social services, immigration and cozy consensus politics in these corporatist social democratic welfare states ” [1, p. 17]. Bergmann notes that this was not the regular right-wing neo-liberal rhetoric but rather a new populist version, with the charismatic leaders positioning themselves alongside the blue collar public and against the political elite. Thus, these movements offered an alternative voice to the mainstream in politics, drawing their message from the fears of the ordinary public [1, p. 17].
Bergmann sets the second wave in 1990s, when Nordic nationalist populism was remodeled to be more socially acceptable and mainstream. In Denmark, Pia Kjærsgaard established the Danish People’s Party in 1995 (on the foundations of the Progress Party), which was milder in its anti-tax rhetoric, but still promoting strong anti-immigration policies and anti-multiethnic Denmark. Norwegian Progress Party moved more towards the center, to become as Bergmann describes as “the softest version of populist right-wing parties in Europe ” [1, p. 18]. Nevertheless, the party shifted from its tax-reduction rhetoric towards the more anti-multicultural message. The turning point for the Progress Party during the party congress in 1994, where the liberal wing of the party lost the influence over to the more nationalistic Christian conservative faction whose primary agenda was to “protect the Norwegian culture against foreign inﬂuences and protecting the welfare system from being exploited by immigrants and asylum seekers ” [1, p. 20].
This decade also saw the emergence of the Sweden Democrats and The True Finns (later renamed in English as the Finns Party). Bergmann concludes that the nature of the nationalism introduced in the second wave was different to what was introduced by earlier time agrarian populism or the anti-tax neo-liberal populism in the early 1970s. Rather for nationalism to primarily refer to the socio-economic notion of the ‘ordinary people’, the emphasis was placed on the socio-cultural notion of ‘our people’ [1, p.21].
Bergmann places the third wave as occurring after the 2008 international financial crisis, with populist discourse moving into the mainstream or even being adopted by government parties. Bergmann states that the international financial crisis shook foundations of Western capitalism, bringing severe public austerity and economic uncertainty, with the ordinary public feeling victimized by both business and political elites [1, pp. 21-22].
In Norway, Progress Party under the leadership of Siv Jensen, entered the government as a coalition partner with the conservatives, while in Denmark, Danish People’s Party moved from the fringes of the Danish politics to be considered almost as a mainstream party. This wave also marks the rise of the more hardline right-wing populist parties in Sweden and Finland. Sweden Democrats, which was considered a fringe party with links to Nazism, managed to win their first seats in parliament in 2010. Under the leadership of charismatic Jimmie Åkesson, the party almost doubled their elections success in 2014. In Finland, under the leadership of Timo Soini, the Finns Party managed to win 19% of the votes in 2011 parliament elections, mainly due to rising sentiment of resentment for the EU’s plan of bailing out troubled states. Timo Soini positioned himself on the side of the “common man” against both domestic and European “corrupted elites”. Bergmann concludes that the greatest success of the third wave came with the 2014 EU Parliament elections, with right-wing populist parties achieving significant results on them [1, p.23]. Bergman concludes that the greatest success of the third wave came in the 2014 European Parliament elections, in which right-wing populist parties achieved significant results [1, p.24].
Four main political parties
The main representatives of the Nordic right-wing populism are the following four parties:
1. The Finns Party is an opposition party, which briefly participated in the Finish coalition government from 2015-2017. The political schism inside the party occurred after internal leadership elections, and successive return of the hardliner leadership proved to be too much for their coalition partners who casted them out of the government. Consequently, the Finns Party experienced a sharp drop in the support (to a less than 10%), and it looked like it would have hard time to recover, especially due to the return to the hardline politics and leadership. Nevertheless, party demonstrated that not only it could adapt to the new reality, but that it could also find a fertile ground among the Finnish public for its message . At the 2019 Finnish parliament elections, the Finns Party managed to win 17.5% of votes, by February 2021, the party's support among Finnish voters was at 21% .
2. The Sweden Democrats are the opposition party that has been most widely covered in the media recently. After the 2018 parliamentary elections in Sweden and 17.5% of the votes won, the party caused an unprecedented post-election crisis in the country. Under the leadership of Jimmie Åkesson, a representative of the younger generation of Swedish politicians, the Sweden Democrats have become a modern, pragmatic and tech-savvy political force in Sweden . As of February 2021, the Sweden Democrats support among the Swedish voters was at 20% .
3. From June 2015 until June 2019, the Danish People’s Party provided parliamentary support for the center-right minority coalition government, but after the 2019 elections in Denmark and unsatisfactory election result, it became once again an opposition party . Its 7% support among the voters in February 2021 did not significantly differ since their election result of 8.7% from June 2019 . Nevertheless, the party did manage to influence the governmental policies and public opinion, especially on the issues such as immigration and crime .
4. The Progress Party is an opposition party that, under the leadership of Sive Jensen, was part of the Norwegian government coalition from 2013 to 2020 . The party began to experience a steady decline in support after the 2009 Norwegian parliamentary elections, in which it managed to win a historically high 22.9% of the vote. During the 2013 and 2017 parliamentary elections, it was noticeable that the party's support began to decline, as it received 16.3% and 15.2% of the vote respectively . The results of the opinion polls show that the trend of declined support continues for the party, as in February 2021 it was at 8% . After the Norwegian parliamentary elections in 2021 it will be seen whether the party can reverse this negative trend. Nevertheless, the party has proved to be a stable and desirable coalition partner, and it is quite possible that it will once again in some capacity be a member of a governmental coalition.
Table 1 – Overview of the four main right-wing populist parties of the Nordic region .
Nordic right-wing populist parties have certain characteristics that distinguish them from their counterparts in Western Europe. This is mainly due to the modern national identity of the Scandinavian countries (including Finland), which developed around a strong welfare nation system and democratic traditions. Although they are proponents of the right-wing policies, when taking into account their economic policies, they are much closer to the traditional left-wing parties.
Ann-Cathrine Jungar and Anders Ravik Jupskås described the traditional Nordic party systems via the “five-party” model, consisting of the social-democratic, communist/left-wing, conservative, agrarian and liberal party families . Nevertheless, Jungar and Jupskås note that right-wing populist party family has also been established in the Nordic party system, with the main representatives being the Sweden Democrats, the Finns Party and the Danish People’s Party. The common characteristics that these parties share include similar populist ideology, anti-establishment position, authoritarian position in sociocultural policy, fairly centrist position in socioeconomic policy, nationalist position based on their name as well as transnational connectivity to their European counterparts. Jungar and Jupskås further observe that the Norwegian Progress Party has some difficulties to fit in this list, as it can be considered authoritarian and more economically right-wing compared to the other three parties, although it is equally anti-establishment and anti-immigration one. Thus, Jungar and Jupskås believe that the Progress Party is seen more as a hybrid between the populist radical party and a more traditional conservative party .
Although sharing similar political traits, Jungar and Jupskås note that the origins of these parties differ from one another. The Finns Party is usually seen as the successor party of the Finnish Rural Party (Suomen Maaseudun Puolue ), which was ideologically linked to the agrarian populism and social conservatism. The Danish People’s Party and the Progress Party were products of a the neoliberal populist wave that emerged in the early 1970s, with the Danish People’s Party seen as a spiritual successor of the Danish Progress Party (Fremskridtspartiet ). The Sweden Democrats were founded at the end of the 1980s, and were considered more militant and extreme right than their sister parties .
Jungar and Jupskås state that the consensus of most scholars is that the basic features of such a party family further consist of authoritarian position on sociocultural issues, support for strong welfare state and opposition to redistributive politics through progressive taxation (“right-wing egalitarianism”), transnational linkages between the various parties, as well as the party names, which are reflecting their nationalistic aspirations .
Authoritarian position on sociocultural issues is understood as exclusionist and ethnically based form of nationalism, where nation-state should remain as culturally and ethnically homogenous as possible. This is achieved through strict assimilationist, anti-immigration policies and strong criticism of multiculturalism. Additionally, it includes strict law-and-order policies, pro-militaristic views, cultivation of the traditional family values, as well as skepticism towards the LGBT and gender rights .
The socioeconomic policy, described as a strong support for the welfare state (which is policy traditionally expressed by the left-wing parties) emerged in the right-wing populist party programs during the last couple of decades, as the electorate of Nordic countries have become increasingly “proletarianized” . The strong welfare state can also be seen as something woven in the very fabric of the Nordic society, and thus it should not be considered as paradoxical for the right-wing populist parties to support such usually left-wing socioeconomic policies. The names of right-wing populist parties should also be considered as an additional indicator of commitment to the “fundamental values of the party family ”, by utilizing the words and concepts such as “national”, “people’s party”, “democratic” etc. in their name .
Considering the socioeconomic policies of right-wing parties, it is very important to understand the concept of “welfare chauvinism”, as it plays major role in the political messages of such parties. The term “welfare chauvinism” was first coined by the Jørgen Goul Andersen and Tor Bjørklund in 1990, in their article "Structural Changes and New Cleavages: the Progress Parties in Denmark and Norway". Andersen and Bjørklund refer to it as “welfare state chauvinism” - sentiment that the “welfare services should be restricted to our own ” [5, p. 214].
Johan Nordensvard and Markus Ketola observe that the right-wing populist parties have strong tendency to claim that the welfare state is not adequately aimed at helping poor common people who are “really” in need and hence deserving of assistance [6, p.358]. Instead, the argument of the right-wing populist parties is that the welfare state provides well-paid and comfortable jobs for self-interested civil servants who cater to a class of “welfare scroungers” that freeload on the hard work of the “common man” [6, p.359].
Nordensvard and Ketola state that this provokes an idea for an exclusive and exclusionist welfare state that favors ethnic nationals, or in other words, state that favors welfare chauvinism [6, p. 359]. In their view, right wing populist parties are projecting an image of champions for a more genuine form of economic egalitarianism, protecting the interests of the “common man”, thus reframing the populist political rhetoric through the concept of a welfare nation state among Nordic populist parties. Therefore, those who are exploiting the social welfare of their nation-states and consequently limiting the access to the resources for the “common man”, are considered a threat by such parties [6, p. 359].
Luis Cornago Bonal and Delia Zollinger observe that in Nordic countries where the welfare regime is citizenship-based, the foreign-born population is formally eligible to receive welfare benefits once they acquire the citizenship of one of the Nordic countries. In another type of welfare regime (e.g., occupation-based type) access to welfare programs such as unemployment benefits is conditioned to the minimum period of contribution and provides benefits proportional to past contributions. In other words, immigrants are entitled to gain access to welfare benefits only to a degree they contributed themselves to the society beforehand . Thus, Bonal and Zollinger state that the perceived competition with immigrants for welfare benefits or resources may be higher in the citizenship-based type of welfare regime than in the occupation-based mode. They base this on a hypothetical situation, where recently arrived immigrants in the occupation-based welfare type do not have access to many welfare programs because they have not yet contributed to the social security system, thus to a degree lessening the emergence of welfare chauvinistic attitudes in the native population .
Nordic right-wing populist parties have two more characteristics that can make them somewhat different than their counterparts in the rest of the Europe: they are both highly adaptable and pragmatic in nature. There is no doubt that they are less burdened with ideological purity during the political calculations than other mainstream parties (especially left-wing ones), while having a good sense of relevancy for the issues in the society they are openly speaking about. Sweden Democrats demonstrated this when they underwent a thorough process of rebranding and moderation, and turned from a political pariah into a major political force in less than a decade . The Finns Party also demonstrated that when, after a major party split and the loss of governmental position, they managed to return to their previous highs in just five years. Therefore, even though that both Danish People’s Party and the Progress Party are experiencing a drop for their support among the voters, they shouldn’t be considered a dying force in politics. If such parties demonstrated anything during the last two decades, it is that they are more than capable of achieving a strong comeback to the political arena after an election defeat, to the surprise of the majority of their political opponents.
The following statements made by the examined parties in their political programs underline the characteristics of the Nordic right-wing populism presented in this research. The attention was given to their ideological orientation, as well as their economic policies. As it can be seen, all the parties, except the Progress Party, share the same "right-wing politics/left-wing economics" principle. Although the Progress Party, defined as a “hybrid party”, is favoring liberalism as its ideological foundation and is more oriented towards the right for their economic policies, it still advocates strict anti-immigration measures and stronger security services for Norway.
The Finns Party consider themselves a “patriotic and Christian Social Party ”, while stating in their political program that they place the emphasis on the ”value of the ordinary Finnish citizens and their role and voice in the politics, economics and culture of Finland ”, and that their focus is fully set on the “Finnish nation as whole ” . The party further states that it “strongly supports the principle of national sovereignty ” and that while “history does not repeat itself a Finn will nevertheless know what it does mean to be Finnish - and what it does not. To be 'Finnish' is to recognize 'something' in the spirit ” . The Finns Party also underline that “No single tradition, attitude, opinion or 'style' is the core of Finnish culture - but it is the combination of language, history, customs, values, and symbols. Finns feel 'Finland' in their heart and soul and it remains there – no matter how the world changes ” .
Considering their economic policies, the Finns Party advocates for re-prioritization of the state and municipality income from the taxes, as they deem “immigration, climate and gender policy ideology, as well as and overshooting construction investments ” unnecessary and harmful spending [9, p.4]. The party claims that the existing resources should be focused on core priorities in the country and municipalities, such as maintenance, social welfare and health services, schools and roads [9, p.4].
Sweden Democrats in their political program state that they are “a social conservative party with a nationalist basic view, which regards conservatism and the maintenance of a solidarity welfare model as the most important tools in the construction of a good society. The party was formed in 1988 with the overarching goal of forming a democratic, political movement that would safeguard the common national identity that formed the basis for the emergence of the welfare state and the peaceful and democratic development of our country” [10, p. 1]. The party further declares that their ideological foundation is based on the social-conservatism on the clear nationalist basis, and that the party’s ambition is to combine the best elements “from the traditional right and left ideology ” [10, p. 1]. The economic policies of Sweden Democrats reflect those usually promoted by the left-wing parties, such as regulated market economy, growth that will maintain welfare system, as well as “public health, cultural heritage, the environment, social capital and national self-determination ” [10, p. 19].
The party also supports freedom of religion in Sweden, although it maintains that “Christianity is intimately intertwined with Swedish culture and identity ” and that “by virtue of its history, Christianity should be allowed to hold a special position in relation to other religions in Sweden ” [10, p. 17]. At the same time, the party states that “Islam and in particular its strong political and fundamentalist branch is, in the view of the Sweden Democrats, the religious view that has proved most difficult to harmoniously coexist with Swedish and Western culture”, and that the influence of the Islam on the Swedish society should be “counteracted as far as possible” , while the immigration from Muslim countries “with strong elements of fundamentalism ” should be strongly limited [10, p.17].
Considering multiculturalism, the party strongly rejects it, stating that it is irrelevant to them whether “the ultimate goal of the multiculturalist aspirations is to create a society i n which all national cultures dissolve and blend into a new common multiculturalism ” or “whether it is a multicultural society in which a multitude of widely differing national cultures coexist within the same state ” [10, p.13]. They believe that both such scenarios will lead to a “deteriorating social climate with increased rootlessness, segregation, contradictions, insecurity and reduced welfare” as a result [10, p.13]. Sweden Democrats suggest an alternative to multiculturalism as a return to “community-building assimilation policy similar to the one that prevailed in the country (Sweden) until 1975 ”, which means that the immigrants would need to assimilate to the Swedish culture and society only by abandoning their original national identities and cultures [10, p.13].
The Progress Party of Norway assert in their principles program that their ideological basis is liberalism, “based on the premise that people themselves are better able than politicians to decide what is best for them ” [11, p.8]. The party argues for limiting the role of the state in the Norwegian society, as well as entrusting some of the public sector’s tasks over to individuals, private business and voluntary organizations. However, the party’s main motivation is not an ideological struggle, but the question of lowering of taxes [11, p.8]. Further in their principles program, the Progress Party states that during the period when the party was a part of the governmental coalition “most people have received lower taxes, it became cheaper to drive, investments in new roads became record high, patients received faster treatments and immigration policy has become stricter ” [11, p.2].
The party’s strict stance towards the immigrants is seen in their statement that “we (Norwegians) must take care of what makes Norway ‘Norway’. That is why we want a ban on discriminatory clothing such as the burqa and hijab ”, which is also reflected in their proposed restrictive policies on immigration to Norway [11, p.61]. The party also supports strong, arms-carrying police force, which will be capable to tackle rising problems in the Norwegian society, such as organized crime and terrorism [11, p.13].
Danish People’s Party declare in their political program that they are committed to the Danish cultural heritage, preservation of the Danish constitutional monarchy and the idea of the state support for the Danish National Church. In the party’s view, Denmark is a country that is “based on the Danish cultural heritage, and Danish culture must therefore be preserved and strengthened…(Danish) culture consists of the sum of the Danish people's history, experiences, beliefs, languages and customs. Protection and further development of this culture is a prerequisite for the country's existence as a free and enlightened society ” . At the same time, the party views the Danish National Church and Christianity as inseparable from the lives of the Danes, as both have played a significant role in characterizing people’s way of life – nevertheless, the party is supporting, and not challenging the universal right for freedom of religion .
The party is strongly against immigration, and in their program states that “Denmark is not an immigrant-country and never has been…thus we will not accept transformation to a multiethnic society ” . Nevertheless, the party believes that it would be possible to absorb foreigners into the Danish society, provided that this “this does not put security and democratic government at risk ” . Danish People’s Party also states their support for traditional family values, as well as for the public healthcare and education system of the highest quality .
It can be concluded that the right-wing populist parties in the Nordic countries have certain aspects that distinguish them from similar parties in the rest of Europe. These characteristics are: welfare chauvinism, right-wing egalitarianism, authoritarian positions on sociocultural issues, and populist, anti-establishment positions. In short, their position as a whole can be defined as "right-wing politics/left-wing economics". Such a position of these parties, as can be seen from their political programs, is based on the specifics of the socio-political culture and the social-welfare system of the Nordic countries. At the same time, these parties have demonstrated their high pragmatism and ability for adaptation to the current political situation in their countries. From the fringe parties and political pariahs of their political scenes they have evolved into a modern, tech-savvy and mainstream political force, able not only to enter parliaments of their nation states, but also to be recognized as potential partners for government coalitions.
Результаты процедуры рецензирования статьи
В связи с политикой двойного слепого рецензирования личность рецензента не раскрывается.
The popularity of far-right populism has risen markedly in recent decades against the backdrop of the challenges facing Western and Eastern Europe. The growing economic inequality of states, both inside and outside the European Union, contributes to the growth of migration flows, which put additional pressure on the existing social infrastructure. Terrorist threats that Europe actually faces, individual acts of violence taking place on the territory of free and democratic states, often force us to reconsider the set of values declared by a single European community. All this in one way or another determines the relevance of the presented study, the subject of which is the political parties of the Northern European countries from the right spectrum and their changing populist rhetoric, which affects the internal content of socio-economic programs. The following states within the EU were selected as separate cases: Finland, Sweden, Denmark, although the general theoretical framework of the study is sharpened on the analysis of Nordic countries that succumb to the tendencies of proletarianization - which in turn poses a certain challenge to the right-wing parties, which, in fact, should rework the ideology of social democratic sense, characteristic of left-wing parties. The author gives a very clear and meaningful description of the phenomenon of Nordic populism, characteristic of right-wing parties, describes the key ideological trends and political values characteristic of their programs. The main methodological setting is, in addition to the procedural tool directly declared by the author - content analysis, cultural and anthropological analysis of political ideology and structural analysis of the rhetoric of political parties. The target setting is formulated quite fully, the characteristics of the object and the subject of research are given. The article has a clear structure, which is divided into thematic subheadings devoted to the analysis of the main waves of political populism characteristic of the Nordic countries, as well as the activities of the leading four right-wing parties, and separately - the programs of these parties. In addition, the article contains a fairly significant introductory part, which describes the relevance of the study, and the final part, which formulates its key conclusions. Of course, the approach proposed by the author is quite adequate to the stated goal. However, it seems that in order to increase the element of scientific novelty and practical significance, the author should use, in addition to the content analysis of the programs of political parties in the Nordic countries, the discourse analysis of public speeches of politicians, including at meetings in the collegial bodies of the European Union. Research exists on its own outside the current global political context, and this is its main flaw. In connection with this indicated remark, the bibliographic list and the list of used sources looks rather scanty, despite the fact that they are all relatively new. The author should have worked out in more detail the problems of modern populism, characteristic of political parties in different regions, using the works of modern researchers in the field of political analysis and political theory, for example, Ya.V. Müller. Nevertheless, the material itself, which testifies to the main characteristics of right-wing populism in the political parties of the Nordic countries, is of rather significant interest to the readership of the magazine "World Politics". The article can be recommended for publication as a holistic research without significant modifications.
The journal allows the author(s) to hold the copyright without restrictions. All authors automatically own full copyright in their work as soon as they create it, and current Russian Federal legislation protects them.
Licence type: Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0)
The journal is an open access journal which means that everybody can read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of these articles in accordance with Creative Commons Attribution- NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
You are free to:
Share — copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format.
Adapt — remix, transform, and build upon the material The licensor cannot revoke these freedoms as long as you follow the license terms.
Under the following terms:
Attribution — You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.
NonCommercial — You may not use the material for commercial purposes.
No additional restrictions — You may not apply legal terms or technological measures that legally restrict others from doing anything the license permits.