Building: VMP 8 Floor: 2 Room: 207
‘Movement parties’, as a newly introduced type of political organizations, have proved successful in mobilizing voters in some countries. Thus far, however, the academic focus has been mostly on left-wing and ideologically hybrid organizations, such as those emerged in Southern Europe amid the Eurozone crisis (for example Syriza, Podemos, and the Five Star Movement). The far right has remained out of this research attention as of yet (however we are aware of some exceptions). Nevertheless, the far right – in its populist, radical, and extreme variants – is one of the most researched objects in the social sciences and seemingly shares features with other ‘movement parties’. Some of these organizations have been seen to straddle the conceptual space between party and movement, in that they contest elections in order to gain representation in office, yet seek to mobilize public support by providing particular frames to contentious issues. Whilst some attempts have been made in order to bridge the party political literature and social movement studies, the two scholarships have only rarely crossed paths in the analysis of the far right. As for right wing groups, while the mobilization of the losers in the processes of globalization by new right populist parties is seen to be the driving force of the restructuring of West European politics, some scholars have recently gone beyond party politics. They show how the cleavage coalitions that are shaping up under the impact of globalization extend to state actors, interest groups and social movement organizations, and how the various actors frame the new conflicts. However, they do not pay specific attention to movement parties. In this panel we ask the following questions. What are the main features of ‘movement parties’ on the far right? What organizational and strategic features qualify these networks of organizations as ‘movement parties’ rather than ‘party movements’? What is the lifecycle of movement parties, in terms of emergence and breakthrough, structuring of movement-party relations and construction of shared collective identities?