Merijn OudenampsenMar 16, 2021
The Rise of the Dutch New Right
An Intellectual History of the Rightward Shift in Dutch Politics
We are not short of books and commentary on the rise of the nativist right in Europe and the US but not all these movements are alike. Among the most intriguing aspects of the insurgency has been the contrasting attitudes to the role of women and gay rights in the nationalist movements in Spain and Italy compared to those in Germany, France and the US.
The Dutch led the way. This style of New Right politics first appeared nearly 20 years ago in the Netherlands in the form of Pim Fortuyn - an openly gay Marxist convert to conservatism who made the then novel case that freedoms only recently won from one Abrahamic religion now needed protection from another.
In The Rise of the Dutch New Right (Routledge, 2020), Merijn Oudenampsen makes the case that they are less original than they look; that Fortuyn, Geert Wilders, Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Thierry Baudet are “part of a larger and longer conservative wave” derived from British neoliberalism and American neoconservatism and that "the conservative interest in feminism and gay rights is largely a function of their opposition to Islam”. As the Netherlands goes to the polls on March 17, he considers what the future holds for the New Right.
Merijn Oudenampsen is a sociologist and political scientist at the University of Amsterdam. He has previously published The Conservative Revolt (2018) and Socialism for Beginners (2019) in Dutch. This is his first book in English.
*The author's own book recommendation is Family Values: Between Neoliberalism and the New Social Conservatism by Melinda Cooper(Zone Books, 2017).
Tim Gwynn Jones is an economic and political-risk analyst at Medley Global Advisors.