Populism in Europe: Denmark

Populism in Europe series

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Published: 2012-05-15

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Nationalist populist parties and movements are growing in support throughout Europe. These groups are known for their opposition to immigration, their ‘anti-establishment’ views and their concern for protecting national culture. Their rise in popularity has gone hand-in-hand with the advent of social media, and they are adept at using new technology to amplify their message, recruit and organise.

The Dansk Folkeparti (or ‘Danish People’s Party’ — DPP) is one of the most successful of these groups in Western Europe. It is the third largest party in Denmark and was a member of the coalition government from 2002 until 2011. The DPP’s policies relate primarily to the protection of Danish identity and heritage, with particular focus on limiting immigration and rejecting multiculturalism, publicly stating that a multi-ethnic Danish society would be a ‘national disaster’. Their attitude was crystallised during the scandal following the publication of cartoons of the prophet Mohammed — they openly supported the move as an example of free speech.

This report presents the results of a survey of Facebook fans of the Danish People’s Party. It includes data on who they are, what they think, and what motivates them to shift from virtual to real-world activism. It also compares them with other similar parties in Western Europe, shedding light on their growing online support, and the relationship between their online and offline activities. This report is the third in a series of country specific briefings about the online support of populist parties in 12 European countries, based on our survey of 13,000 Facebook fans of these groups.

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