Cas Mudde
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The extreme right party family

Studies of political parties have been based on a multiplicity of both scholarly and political theories, and have focused on a variety of internal and external aspects. There is a wide variety of definitions, based on an almost as wide variety of criteria, but none can claim general acceptance in the field. However, a consensus can be found in the fact that the political party is to be defined primarily on the basis of its function(s). It is also on this basis that the political party is defined in this study, namely as any political group identified by an official label that places candidates for public office through elections. This chapter introduces the concept of the party family, the study of extreme right parties, putting the extreme right party family to the test, and studying party ideology.

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