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Pariahs or Partners? Inclusion and Exclusion of Radical Right Parties and the Effects on Their Policy Positions

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Abstract

This article investigates the effects of inclusion and exclusion on the policy agendas of radical right parties. Radical right parties face diverging political opportunity structures in Western Europe. In some countries, the prospect of office has become a realistic option since the beginning of this century; in other countries radical right parties remain ostracised by mainstream parties. Research has focused mainly on the electoral effects of inclusion and exclusion strategies. Systematic analyses of the effects on policy agendas are scarce. This article focuses on the policy positions of radical right parties with respect to the key issues of immigration and integration. The finding is that ostracised parties have not changed much over time, but there is no evidence that cordons sanitaires have a freezing effect. Contrary to expectations, non-ostracised parties have not become more moderate over time. After the turn of the millennium, non-ostracised radical right parties have become just as radical as their ostracised cousins.

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