Once a marginal political coalition, the French National Front has
become the most high-profile far-right organization in Europe. In
"Politics on the Fringe" Edward G. DeClair provides the first
extensive analysis of the Front's history, from its creation in
1972 and outcast status in the early 1980s to its achievement of
broad-based support and show of political strength in the 1997
Using rare, in-depth interviews with twenty-nine members of the
Front elite, as well as public opinion survey data and electoral
results, DeClair examines the internal structure of the Front, its
political agenda, and its growing influence in France. DeClair
shows how the party has dramatically expanded its traditionally
narrow core constituency by capitalizing upon anxieties about
national identity, immigration, European unification, and rising
unemployment. In illustrating how the rhetoric surrounding such
topics is key to the Front's success, DeClair examines the Front's
legacy by detailing the links between the French far-right and
similar movements in such countries as Germany, Belgium, Austria,
Italy, and the United States. Finally, "Politics on the Fringe"
offers not only a complete picture of the Front's increasingly
influential role in French partisan politics but also further
insight into the resurgence of right-wing extremism throughout
western societies in the late twentieth century.
This volume will be of primary importance to political
scientists and those engaged with European politics, culture, and
history. It will also appeal to those concerned with right-wing
populism and political movements.
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