Conceptualization of right wing politics
Conceptualization of right wing politics General causes of the rise of right-wing politics Since the 1980s radical right-wing parties have emerged and become established in a large number of European countries (1). Right-wing politics across Europe takes different forms depending on nationally specific factors such as political history, system and culture (2). Therefore the root causes may vary from nation to nation. There are common causes of the rise of right-wing politics/political parties, namely Ethnic Nationalism, Economic Instability and Fears of Immigration and Multiculturalism.
Right-wing political parties are often times the result of ethnic nationalism. Nationalism was an inclusive and liberating force that helped to break down the various localisms of regions, dialects, customs and clans, which created large and powerful nation-states, with centralised markets and systems of administration, taxation and education (3). Ethnic nationalism seeks to achieve the fore mention but instead focuses its effort on one ethnicity within the state. An ethnicity is regarded as The overall objective of right-wing political parties and ethnic nationalism is to safeguard the nation’s majority culture and to keep the nation as ethnically homogenous as possible (4).
Their ethnic nationalism is followed by an exclusionary attitude towards immigrants and to varying degrees towards other ethnic or racial minorities, often manifested in xenophobia and sometimes racism. The promotion of ethnic nationalism in Europe is impacted by the electoral success of far right political parties (5). That means that the existence of a charismatic and respected leader prevents factionalism and infighting from happening.
The financial crisis of 2008 caused much economic instability in Europe, which created financial insecurity and increased the anxiety and discontent of the people, thus allowing many right-wing parties to gain support (5). Due to this economic instability in Europe many of the more profitable low-skilled manufacturing industries were moved to the developing countries where the expenses were lower than in Europe meaning the low-skilled workers in European countries soon found themselves unemployed and uneducated to make up with the new demands of the labour markets (5). As a means of retaliation towards the state and towards the society, the incoming immigrants were labelled as ‘thieves’ because they found jobs in a society where the general population suffered from unemployment. However the reality was that the locals themselves many times refused to do the low-skilled work since it was regarded as something an immigrant would do (6).
Fears of Immigration and Multiculturalism
Many European leaders and the general population in Europe believe that the immigrants, if not properly checked at the borders, will pose a threat to Europe. After the attacks in Paris in January 2015 and later in November the same year, fears over radical Islamism intensified significantly (7).
Many Europeans now feel that the European Union need a more aggressive plan of action regarding the entry of the refugees to the European Union. Some people even believe that the European Union should not take in any refugees since it only causes problems and undermine the security of the European Union (7).
There is a widespread believe among the European community that immigration and the current refugee crisis threatens national security (6).
The speculation over this matter is enough to enforce the arguments of the right-wing populist, even without evidence of the refugees committing terrorist attacks or crimes of any kind. Consequently the right-wing argued that there is a need to protect its citizens, and that without this action there is no possibility of guaranteeing the security of Europe. Globalization has caused for cultural values and distinct characteristics of a culture to diminish and for multiple cultures to mix in with one another creating a more monotonous culture.
This creates a fear that European cultures are dying and numerous smaller ethnic groups fear this happening to their culture (6). To prevent this many Europeans have turned to right-wing populism in order to prevent this from happening. The creation of them and us allows for some to preserve their culture through the exclusion of those who do not belong to the same ethnic group. Brief introduction of the case study countriesBritain Great Britain also known as the United Kingdom is one country made up of four nations (8). Britain is a constitutional monarch with limited federalism allowing some of the nations have their own national assembly’s e. g. Northern Ireland Assembly. However matters that pertain to England or the whole UK is handled by/in Parliament. Britain’s formation was the result of the Magna Carta which was signed in 1215.
The agreement was continued by Simon De Montfort in 1265 which allowed for the inclusion commoners for the first time (8). The British Parliament consist of three parts The Regent (Queen Elizabeth II), The House of Lords and The House of Commons.
The Regent- Descendant of the Kings of medieval England and signs all legislation, is the sole person who can declare war or peace, calls on majority party in the House of Commons to form a government in his or her name.
The House of Lords- Successors of the Barons, Earls and Dukes of medieval England and Scotland the members are called “Peers” and are appointed for life by The Regent with consent of the House of Commons.
House of Commons- Are elected Representatives of the People of the Britain they are elected through a “First past the post” electoral system which allows for the person with the most votes to win even if they do not have a majority. These representatives are responsible for day-to-day legislation and governance of Britain 650 constituencies with around 70,000 people in each constituency.
The majority party has the responsibility for governing therefore this party is said to be “in government’ (8). FranceIn France there has been a great legacy of conflict which as a result shaped the terms Left and Right early in the great Revolution of 1789–94 (9). French political traditions consist of long-running issues that have impacted its right and left wing politics, namely, the nature of the regime, the relationship between Church and state, and the relation between the state, the economy and society. France also has regime instability, seeing as how the country has had a dozen regimes rule since 1789 (9).
Post-war boom, globalisation and the European integration process helped to transform the context of political conﬂict in France. However globalisation and European integration represented direct challenges to many aspects of France’s state tradition.
The Swedish system of Government states that all public power proceeds from the people this is the foundation of parliamentary democracy in Sweden (10). Everyone has the same rights, the same opportunity to have their say, and everyone is free to scrutinise how the politicians and public agencies exercise their power. Four fundamental laws make up the Constitution: the Instrument of Government, the Act of Succession, the Freedom of the Press Act and the Fundamental Law on Freedom of Expression. Among other things.
These laws guarantees citizens the right to obtain information freely, hold demonstrations, form political parties and practise their religion. The Riksdag or the parliament is meant to represent the people by making the decisions that the government then implements. The Government also submits proposals for new laws or law amendments to the Riksdag (10). Sweden has three levels of domestic government: national, regional and local and since the country joined the EU in 1995 it has also focused on the European level.