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Extreme right in Belgium

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  1. Introduction.
  2. The emergence of the modern Extreme Right movement.
    1. The failure of the Front National.
    2. The growing success of the Vlaams Blok or Vlaams Belang.
  3. 'The Extreme Right Utopia' in Belgium: The case of the Vlaams Blok/Vlaams Belang.
    1. Ingroups and outgroups: Ethnocentricism and solidarism.
    2. Immigration as a threat: Racism, xenophobia and islamophobia.
  4. Extreme right voters in Belgium.
    1. Who votes for the extreme right parties?
    2. Some explanations of this vote.
  5. Belgium: an exception?
    1. Extreme right at the European level: A review of the extreme right presence in Europe.
    2. European's public opinion: a democratic disenchantment.
  6. Conclusion.

In September 2006, seventeen people have been arrested in Belgium for allegedly planning attacks aimed at "destabilising" the country's institutions, 10 of these 17 people where soldiers and the federal prosecutor's office said in a statement that they are people with an extreme-right ideology who clearly express themselves through racism, xenophobia, Holocaust denial, anti-Semitism and neo-Nazism". What happened in the army is only a reflection of what happens in this society. Indeed, the most popular political party in Flanders is an extreme right one called the Vlaams Blok with 18, 1% of the votes in 2003. And in the Walloon region, the French speaking part of Belgium, the extreme right Front National has also a significant popularity. The extreme right in Belgium is a real issue and its increasing success drives us to wonder how and why this success can be possible? The issue has extensively preoccupied the minds of politicians, social scientists, the media and the public, at large. It has been applied to radical political parties, fringe organisations, clandestine groups and a range of violent racist activities. While the extreme right is easily recognisable, there is virtually an absence of definition in most of the existing scholarly studies. Some have defined the extreme right in terms of opposition to democracy, and others in terms of racist and ultra-nationalistic attitudes.

[...] Extreme right in Belgium used to have voters from all the social classes but some particular classes are more represented than others: for the 2 main parties, the majority of the voters were from the working class, non skilled workers are significant in ER voters with low level of education, for instance, only of the FN voters in 1997 have a degree. But now especially for the FN, voters are more and more from the middle class of the FN voters), these voters have, for the majority of them, a general exam taken at fifteen. [...]


[...] These are some of the central questions addressed in this exposé which seeks to offer a comprehensive assessment of the extreme right in Belgium, our first part will deal with the Extreme Right ideology in Belgium its emergence and development, and then we will wonder if the extreme right success is a Belgian disenchantment or a European phenomenon. The Extreme Right ideology in Belgium: emergence and development 1 The emergence of the modern Extreme Right movement 1 The failure of the Front National As a federal state, Belgium's extreme right ideology is divided into two most important Extreme Right Parties: the Front National and the Vlaams Blok. [...]


[...] It probably highlights the failure of the Belgian Front National to become a major actor of the political life "The Extreme Right Utopia" in Belgium: the case of the Vlaams Blok/Vlaams Belang 1. Ingroups and outgroups: ethnocentricism and solidarism According to Manheim's definition developed through his study Ideology and Utopia in 1960, 'the extreme right ideology is built on a developed system of ideas, whose utopian component is compromised in the refusal of the existing status quo'. ERPs' ideology tends to let people know that reaching a utopian society is possible thanks to their re-building program. [...]

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