Engaging with the European Union? Exploring the Europeanization of the British National Party

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    Abstract

    Hostility towards the process of European integration is generally considered to constitute one of the hallmarks of the far right ‘family’ in Europe. This article acknowledges such opposition but it also recognises that the rhetoric is often at odds with actual policy activities and aspirations. Not only have far right parties long advocated greater European inter-party co-operation but they are now actively pursuing engagement with the European Union, especially the European Parliament, as a means of advancing their own strategic interests and boosting their finances. This article focuses on one far right party, namely the British National Party (BNP) and examines the party's approach towards the EU, its activities within the EP and its efforts to boost pan European cooperation through the new Alliance of European National Movements (AENM). It argues that the party's engagement with the European Union may have allowed the BNP to take advantage of new political opportunity structures but in turn, opened it up to Europeanization and made it increasingly dependent on the EU.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)664-688
    Number of pages24
    JournalParliamentary Affairs
    Volume67
    Issue number3
    Early online date05 Oct 2012
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 02 Jul 2014

    Keywords

    • Europeanisation, BNP

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