Right-Wing Populist Party Organisation Across Europe: The Survival of the Mass-Party? Conclusion to the Thematic Issue

Open Access Journal | ISSN: 2183-2463

Editorial | Open Access

Right-Wing Populist Party Organisation Across Europe: The Survival of the Mass-Party? Conclusion to the Thematic Issue


  • Stijn van Kessel School of Politics and International Relations, Queen Mary University of London, UK
  • Daniele Albertazzi Department of Politics, University of Surrey, UK


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Abstract:  This article provides a comparative conclusion to the thematic issue on the organisational characteristics of 12 right-wing populist parties (RWPPs) across Europe. We observe that many RWPPs—at least partially—adopt features of the mass party model. This finding illustrates the ideological aspects behind organisational choices: For populist parties, in particular, it is important to signal societal rootedness and “closeness to the people.” It furthermore challenges the idea that there is a one-way teleological movement towards more lean, electoral-professional kinds of party organisation. At the same time, the case studies clearly illustrate that RWPP leaders and executives continue to exercise great power over their members, who are essentially offered “participation without power.”

Keywords:  mass party; party membership; party organisation; populism; radical right

Published:   24 November 2021


DOI: https://doi.org/10.17645/pag.v9i4.5003


© Stijn van Kessel, Daniele Albertazzi. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.