Artigo em revista científica Q1
The end of a strategic opening? The BNP's window of opportunity in the 2000s and its closure in the 2010s
João Carvalho (Carvalho, J.);
Título Revista
Patterns of Prejudice
Reino Unido
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(Última verificação: 2019-12-08 07:30)

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Notwithstanding the endemic failure of extreme-right parties in Britain, the British National Party (BNP) observed a period of electoral growth in the 2000s. After the election of several city councillors nationwide, the BNP experienced an electoral breakthrough in the national ballot of the 2009 European Parliament elections. Yet the BNP's electoral accomplishments dissipated in the early 2010s, fuelling predictions of the party's terminal decline. Within this context, Carvalho seeks to explain the fluctuations observed in the BNP's electoral base in the twentieth-first century by exploring the structure of political opportunities alongside the strategy of the BNP's leadership. Drawing on the convergence thesis and the decline of voting along class lines, he argues that the BNP benefitted from a favourable set of political opportunities in the 2000s, reflecting the decrease in political polarization among mainstream parties, the rise in levels of public distrust, and the intense politicization of the issue of immigration. Despite a general shift to cultural xenophobia, the BNP's leadership remained attached to the ideological traits of neo-fascist parties, including the search for a ‘palingenetic rebirth’ and a national corporatist economic programme. These ideological formulae had important implications for the scope of the BNP's electoral coalition, as Carvalho demonstrates in a review of the secondary literature on the roots of the BNP's electoral support. Consequently, the BNP's electoral growth in the 2000s was the outcome of an interplay between a favourable window of opportunity in British politics and the party's electoral appeal. Carvalho goes on to link the BNP's electoral collapse in the early 2010s with the closing of the aforementioned window after the onset of the financial crisis, a temporary lack of political interest in the issue of immigration, and the formation of the coalition government in 2010.
British National Party,Convergence thesis,Extreme-right parties,Immigration,Political opportunities,Xenophobia
  • Sociologia - Ciências Sociais
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Referência de financiamento Entidade Financiadora
UID/SOC/03126/2013 Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia