This book examines the fascinating interplay of party and media behavior to explain one of the most important phenomena in Western Europe: the rise of far-right parties. To account for the divergent electoral fortunes of these parties, the book examines how political parties and the mass media have dealt with growing public concerns over national identity. Mainstream politicians chose to 'play the nationalist card', creating opportunities for the entry of far-right parties into the political system. In some cases, the media gave outsized exposure to such parties, allowing them to capitalize on these opportunities; in other cases, they ignored them, blocking their entry into the political system. Using elite interviews, content analysis, and primary documents to trace identity politics since the 1980s, this book presents an original interpretation of identity politics and media behavior in Austria, Germany, Greece, and France since the 1980s.

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