Responses of European Mainstream to Right-Wing Populism Challenges from the Perspective of the Resilience Concept: Case of the United Kingdom

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The article explores how European political mainstream responds to the challenges of right-wing populism and how it effects the resilience of the political system. The British case serves as the empirical material for the article. Focusing on the concept of resilience as a quality of a political system to respond and adapt itself to internal challenges, we use the classification of mainstream strategic responses developed by W. Downs and the analytical tools of historical insti- tutionalism. The article investigates mainstream (Conservative and Labor) strategic responses to the challenges of right-wing populism (United Kingdom Independence Party, UKIP) in the UK. The research concludes that the political mainstream is moving from ignoring strategies to mixed strategies, such as cooptation of the UKIP’s program with elements of political and institutional isolation. Such strategies are effective from the electoral point of view, however, they may be fraught with “unintended consequences” affecting the resilience of the whole political system.

About the authors

Sergei A. Shein

National Research University “Higher School of Economics”

Author for correspondence.

PhD in Political Science, Research Fellow at Centre for Comprehensive European and International Studies

Malaya Ordynka Str., 17, Moscow, Russian Federation, 119017


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