Logo: Strike a Light by Rob Howard under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
by Stijn van Kessel
The environment for populist radical right (PRR) parties in Europe is favourable. Both the refugee crisis as well as the recent terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels have ostensibly fuelled further xenophobic and anti-Islam sentiments among European publics, on the basis of which PRR parties have been shown to build their support. Recent elections in Europe have indeed seen good results for parties with an outspoken xenophobic message, the victories in March 2016 for the Alternative for Germany (AfD) in the German regional elections and two far right parties (SNS and L’SNS) in the Slovak national elections being cases in point. Opinion polls in countries such as France and the Netherlands look equally promising for PRR parties. Even though not all European countries have witnessed the successful mobilisation of the PRR, it is fair to conclude that this party family is going strong. It would be too quick to conclude, however, that PRR parties only thrive on the recent salience of the immigration issue.