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HomeNewsSHOCKS TO THE SYSTEM. Lessons from Geert Wilders’ Victory in the Dutch...

SHOCKS TO THE SYSTEM. Lessons from Geert Wilders’ Victory in the Dutch Elections

SHOCKS TO THE SYSTEM. Lessons from Geert Wilders’ Victory in the Dutch Elections – download 

Authors: Pola Cebulak, Florian Lippert

The surprising triumph of Geert Wilders’ Party for Freedom (PVV) on November 22, 2023, marked a notable turning point in the Dutch political landscape, catalysing extensive discussions. Pola Cebulak and Florian Lippert analyse this significant event, identifying two critical factors: the strategic adoption of “good populism” by mainstream parties and the unique fragmentation of the Dutch political landscape. These elements are highlighted as not just instrumental in the PVV’s rise but also as potential precursors to a shift toward democratic backsliding in the Netherlands.

The policy paper unpacks the consequences of mainstream parties’ attempts to co-opt right-wing policies, an approach that inadvertently magnified the appeal of the PVV. This strategy, combined with the contentious debates over asylum policies and the apparent openness of established parties to engage with the PVV, significantly bolstered the far-right’s profile.

Furthermore, the analysis delves into the complexities of the Dutch party system’s fragmentation, traditionally seen as a safeguard against extremism, yet in this instance, possibly enabling the strengthening of far-right discourses. The PVV’s ascendancy, amid the broader mainstreaming of populist and radical right-wing ideologies, represents a challenge to the Dutch constitutional order and the principles of democracy.

The policy paper was produced as part of the “Protecting European Values” project.


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