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Comparative Politics

Cas Mudde

1999

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Full-Text Articles in Political Science

The Single-Issue Party Thesis: Extreme Right Parties And The Immigration Issue, Cas Mudde Dec 1998

The Single-Issue Party Thesis: Extreme Right Parties And The Immigration Issue, Cas Mudde

Cas Mudde

This article examines the single-issue party thesis for the specific case of contemporary extreme right parties (ERPs) and the immigration issue. I define the single-issue party as (l) having an electorate with no particular social structure; (2) being supported predominantly on the basis of one single issue; (3) lacking an ideological programme; and (4) addressing only one all-encompassing issue. On the basis of a comprehensive analysis of electoral studies and party literature the single-issue party thesis is rejected on all counts. At best, immigration has been a catalyst for most ERPs in certain periods of time. Their ideology and broader ...