Print version

Right-wing Populism as a Nationalist Vision of Legitimating Collective Choice: A Supply-side Perspective


Right-wing populist parties have significantly increased their electoral support in recent years. This has also triggered an increase in scholarly interest in the topic. Most existing explanations focus on demand, putting forward different versions of a cultural grievance story underpinned by a common focus on immigration. Instead, in order to understand the rise of right-wing populism, the focus must also be on the supply side and more specifically on the ways right-wing populists themselves attempt to make their message more appealing to broader sectors of the population. At the core of this argument is nationalism: the examples of the German AfD and the French FN show that the adoption of a predominantly civic nationalist rhetoric allows these parties to appear legitimate to a broad range of social groups with different backgrounds and preferences.
Keywords: right-wing populism, nationalism, immigration, AfD, FN