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Anti-Political-Establishment Parties
Party Politics (1996)
  • Andreas Schedler
A specter is haunting contemporary party politics: the specter of anti-political-establishment parties. In old as well as in new democracies, fears run high and the literature is booming. Specters are evasive, however. Political scientists have tried to get hold of this one under labels like protest, populist or extremist parties. Yet the `anti-political' ideology which is central for many of these outsider parties has not received the systematic attention it deserves. The present piece of discourse analysis pretends to fill this gap. It argues that anti-political-establishment parties construct two specific cleavages. They contrapose the political elite against citizens, on the one hand, and against themselves, on the other. In its main part, the article analyzes the symbolic strategies anti-political-establishment parties employ in constructing this double conflict. It proceeds to describe their dilemmatic position in between normal and anti-democratic opposition, sketches the possible career paths of anti-political-establishment parties, and concludes with some notes on available counter-strategies.
  • political parties,
  • anti-politics,
  • populism,
  • elections
Publication Date
July, 1996
Citation Information
Andreas Schedler. "Anti-Political-Establishment Parties" Party Politics Vol. 2 Iss. 3 (1996)
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