The institutionalization of extreme right-wing charismatic parties: A paradox?

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In this article, we explain the puzzling continuous success of the far right-wing parties in Europe by using micro-organizational factors such as charismatic leadership and cohesive party organization, contributing to the process of party institutionalization and demonstrating the success of the extreme right-wing parties. We attempt to solve what appears to be a paradox of the institutionalization of far right charismatic parties on the basis of theories of party leadership and party institutionalization. In this endeavour we first define the concept of charismatic parties, and then outline our argument regarding the paradox of charismatic institutionalization and present criteria for measuring institutionalization of charismatic parties. Finally, we outline a proposed theory of 'hard charismatic parties' institutionalization. The French FN (Front National) and the Austrian FPÖ (Freiheitliche Partei Österreichs) serve as case studies to test our proposed model.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-49
Number of pages19
JournalParty Politics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2002


  • Charisma
  • Extreme right
  • FN
  • FPÖ
  • Institutionalization
  • Leadership

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


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