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Populist Parties and the Failure of the Political Elites

The Rise of the Austrian Freedom Party (FPÖ)


Göran Adamson

The author analyses the reasons behind the electoral success of European right-wing populist parties. Using the Austrian Freedom Party under Jörg Haider as a case study and with a richness of primary material, he argues that their success is only partly caused by «racism». It is also, and more prominently, the result of populism – i.e. a critique of the «elite». These parties and their voters should not, then, be labelled as arrogant insiders attacking downtrodden outsiders like immigrants, workers, and minorities. Instead, the right-wingers are more justly portrayed as outsiders and underdogs, raising their anger and frustration against the insiders: the «media elite» and the «leftists and the artists».
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Bibliographic Information published by the Deutsche Nationalbibliothek The Deutsche Nationalbibliothek lists this publication in the Deutsche Nationalbibliografie; detailed bibliographic data is available in the internet at

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Names: Adamson, Göran, author.

Title: Populist parties and the failure of the political elites : the rise of the Austrian Freedom Party (FPÖ) / Göran Adamson.

Description: New York : Peter Lang, 2016. | Series: Demokrit | Includes bibliographical references.

Identifiers: LCCN 2016005401 | ISBN 9783631661581

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