Xenophobia: is it enough? Far right populist parties in Australia and Europe
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The rise and fall of Pauline Hanson and her One Nation party remains a fascinating episode in recent Australian political history. Australia's flirtation with this example of far right populism lasted less than a decade. Elsewhere far right populist political parties have proved to be far more successful and enduring. This paper is interested in why Australia's One Nation Party withered while European far right counterparts thrive. The paper thus focuses on recent developments in France, the Netherlands and Austria in looking for clues to explain the Australian experience. While the far right populist experience in these European countries and in Australia has much in common including a strong anti-immigrant stance, there are also elements that are significantly different. This comparative research focuses on three key areas. First, it investigates the degree to which a particular country's electoral method contributes to both the emergence and endurance of their populist parties. Second, clues to explain endurance are sought in comparisons of party dynamics. Finally, the contribution that the incorporation of populist policies into the platforms of mainstream parties is also explored. Overall, what this research shows is that there are no simple explanations for the rise of these parties and we need to avoid crude generalisations.
Australasian Political Studies Association (APSA) 2002
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