Transformation of West European Political Landscape and Institutionalization of Anti-System Politics

853
DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2018-62-5-17-28
G. Vainshtein (gvoitek@yandex.ru),
Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO), 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow 117997, Russian Federation 

 

Abstract. The article analyzes peculiarities of the current stage of party-political transformations in Western Europe, characterizes its difference from the previous period of changes in the political landscape of the region, and assesses possible consequences of today’s processes. It is noted that the fragmentation of the political space, which has been one of the features of its changes in recent decades, currently takes place largely due to the emergence of new parties. Based on empirical data presented in the article, the author states that a significant portion of numerous parties created in the region since 2000, make up the parties distinguished by anti-system orientations. Meanwhile, the article emphasizes the increased analytical complexity of differentiation between systemic and anti-systemic parties, conditioned by changes in the nature of anti-system phenomenon. In the past, the anti-system parties used to oppose the existing political system; nowadays these are the parties that are struggling not against the system but against the policy of systemic consensus uniting the political establishment. The distinction between systemic and anti-systemic parties is complicated also by the recent rapprochement of their positions on a number of important political issues. Changes in party-political space today are characterized by the interpenetration and synthesis of political positions various in its nature, which determine the essence of systemic and anti-systemic parties, creating a new quality of system policy. In this context, the introduction of the ideas articulated by anti-system populism (in their relatively deradicalized forms) into “the fabric of system politics” can ultimately lead to significant changes of European societies. In the author’s view, the decline in popularity of populist parties is quite possible, but not in that of the policy which is usually characterized as populist. 

Keywords: West European party system, political transformations, anti-system politics, evolution of mainstream parties, institutionalization of deradicalized populism 


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For citation:
Vainshtein G. Transformation of West European Political Landscape and Institutionalization of Anti-System Politics. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2018, vol. 62, no. 5, pp. 17-28. https://doi.org/10.20542/0131-2227-2018-62-5-17-28



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