Far Right Extremism In Western Europe

1415 words - 6 pages

There is considerable evidence to suggest that Western Europe has experienced an upsurge of far-right extremism such as Front nationale in France, Vlaams Belang in Belgium, the Danish Peoples Party in Denmark and the British National Party in the UK. Consequently, they often advocate nationalistic traits (e.g. Almeida, 2012, p137) as part of their ideology and reinforce this through the manipulation of racial discrimination whereby they create the ‘other’ in society for them to attack for their failings as a country. It has been argued elsewhere (Fennema, 1997; Van der Brug, Fennema and Tillie, 2005) that such parties would be better off branded as ‘anti-immigration’ because of their common approach on blaming the ‘other.’ In particular, the British National Party (BNP) claims to pursuit white supremacy as opposed to multiculturalism as evidently outlined in their 2010 manifesto. Research shows that BNP’s rise in electoral votes to 1.9% in 2010 has become significant in British politics which could initiate a danger towards the British citizens. This is a topic that is currently the subject of much research and debate around Europe, where in many countries there has been majority support for far-right extremists. So why do people vote for and support these parties? Is it simply a reaction to immigration or an expression of deep-seated racial prejudice? I examine the support for the British National Party as to why people may have positive feelings towards the BNP by using UK data to test the phenomenon which Western Europe would probably agree as compelling evidence that racist affiliation to be the main explanation of maintaining British sovereignty.
Other factors are underlined on voting for far-right parties especially around Western Europe, the issue of protest voting is conceptualized as citizens are discontent with the mainstream parties and therefore vote for the far-right party who promises them what they want to hear despite its real hidden agenda (Koopmans et al, 2005). Netherlands had done exceptionally well with an upheaval of 17% vote for the far-right party led by an Islamaphobe Geert Wilders who unexpectedly won four seats out of 25 (Walker, 2009). In the UK, the presence of a non violent party who is known as anti-immigration and anti-EU are winning votes, UKIP due to their manoeuvre in strategy by focussing on the economy. Moreover, the euro zone crisis was a major cause of the rise of populist extremism as it could have possibly been a cry for help as the increase in popularity among far-right parties across Europe. In elections they won seats and became major political players such as Netherlands, Greece, Finland, Hungary, Austria, Norway and France. However, among Europe there is a widespread of multiculturalism employed by minority parties, which brings us onto Racial Equality Act in 2000 which specifically banned discrimination on grounds of employment. Minority views are taken into consideration as research shows that in...

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