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Radical Right in the European Parliament

Zsuzsanna Végh M.A.

Vergleichende Sozialwissenschaften: Vertiefung // Modul III.2.: Recht und Politik im europäischen Kontext (Vertiefung)
6/9 ECTS
Wednesday: 14:15 - 17:45 , bi-weekly
Beginning: 10.04.19
Room: GD 205

Radical right parties have increased their support EU-wide over the past decades gaining more seats in national parliaments and participating in governing coalitions with a growing frequency. Meanwhile, their representation has grown also in the European Parliament (EP). What’s more, with the European parliamentary elections just around the corner (May 2019), their future role in the EU is a topic of intense discussion and analysis in today’s EU. This seminar will start by introducing some core concepts concerning the radical right in Europe and by providing an overview about the history of its participation in EU-level politics. It will then move on to discuss the most important radical right parties through the lens of their views on the European integration and their role in the European Parliament over time. After establishing this background, we will look at how radical right parties perform in EP elections, what drives their cooperation, what topics they engage with and what their impact on policy-making might be. Beyond the academic, the course will have a strong “current affairs” component. Through discussing the developments concerning the European parliamentary elections in each session, the key actors, views and goals of the contemporary European radical right will be explored.

Learning outcomes: 
The seminar will familiarize students with key concepts concerning radical right research. It will provide them with an overview about the positions, role, cooperation and impact of radical right parties in EU politics. Discussions in the context of the European parliamentary elections (campaigns, election results, coalition building etc.) will deepen students’ understanding of current European developments. Active participation in the course will strengthen students’ critical thinking, their analytical and academic writing skills.

Background literature:
Cas Mudde (2007) Populist Radical Right Parties in Europe (University of Georgia); Sophia Vasilopoulou (2018) “The Radical Right and Euroskepticism” In: Jens Rydgren (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of the Radical Right (Oxford Uni. Press) pp. 122-142.; Susi Dennison and Pawel Zerka (2019) The 2019 European Election: How anti-Europeans plan to wreck Europe and what can be done to stop them (European Council on Foreign Relations); “2019 European Elections”, (

Further Literature will be announced at the first session. Students are expected to familiarize themselves with on-going political developments in the EU throughout the course, especially concerning radical right parties.

Prerequisites for Participation:
The language of the seminar is English. Students are expected to read assigned texts, participate in class discussions and complete writing assignments, therefore a good command of both written and spoken English is necessary..


  • 6 ECTS: presentation and essay

  • 9 ECTS: presentation, essay and term paper