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The European Far Right - POL00044H

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  • Department: Politics and International Relations
  • Module co-ordinator: Prof. Daphne Halikiopoulou
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: H
  • Academic year of delivery: 2023-24

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Semester 2 2023-24

Module aims

One of the key developments in contemporary European politics is the emergence and persistence of far right parties whose ideology and agenda seeks to profoundly challenge the political system. Structural changes to European democracies, including the transfer of the locus of power and decision-making away from the nation state to international organisations, such as the European Union, have brought about tremendous changes in traditional representative politics and, by extension, in the predominant belief systems of European citizens. Far right politics are a symptom of a general feeling of malaise, political dissatisfaction with mainstream political parties, fear of globalisation, weakening electoral alignments, increased anti-government sentiment, and protest. This course aims to provide students with a systematic introduction to key academic debates and empirical realities in the comparative analysis of far right politics in Europe. To do so, it will develop comparisons across a range of countries in both long-established Western democracies and some newer democracies in Central and Eastern Europe, for example, among others, Germany, Britain, France, Italy, Greece, and Hungary.

Module learning outcomes

By completing this module, students will:

  • Demonstrate comprehensive knowledge of fundamental theories related to far right politics;
  • Evaluate and assess issues relating to the ideology, policy positions, electoral campaigning of far right parties;
  • Critically assess different models of voting for the far right in European countries such as Britain, Switzerland and the Netherlands;
  • Analyse the dynamics of electoral behaviour and party competition, particularly juxtaposing Eastern and Western European countries;
  • Explore and assess the broader implications of far right politics for democratic politics in contemporary Europe.

This module will also equip students with a range of key transferable skills, including the ability to:

  • Apply independently theoretical knowledge to a number of European cases in both long-established Western democracies and newer democracies in Central and Eastern Europe;
  • Construct well-rounded and balanced arguments;
  • Critically assess what type of information is needed in order to construct an argument;
  • Show independent research skills and evaluate the appropriateness of different research methods in the study of far right politics;
  • Write essays that reflect a critical engagement with the literature and the empirical evidence;
  • Work individually and as part of a team;
  • Improve their communication skills by participating in class discussions.


Task Length % of module mark
Essay 3000 words
N/A 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
Essay 3000 words
N/A 100

Module feedback

Students will receive written timely feedback on their formative assessment. They will also have the opportunity to discuss their feedback during the module tutor’s feedback and guidance hours.

Students will receive written feedback on their summative assessment no later than 25 working days; and the module tutor will hold a specific session to discuss feedback, which students can also opt to attend. They will also have the opportunity to discuss their feedback during the module tutor’s regular feedback and guidance hours.

Indicative reading

Art, D. (2011) Inside the Radical Right: The Development of Anti-Immigrant Parties in Western Europe. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

Hainsworth, P. (2008) The extreme right in Western Europe, London: Routledge

Mudde, C. (2007) Populist radical right parties in Europe, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

Norris, P. (2005) Radical right: voters and parties in the electoral market, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

Mudde, C. (2019) The far right today. Cambridge: Polity.

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.