Right-wing populism is a political ideology that rejects the current political consensus and often combines laissez-faire, ethnocentrism and anti-elitism. It is considered populism because of its appeal to the “common man” as opposed to the elites. In Europe, right-wing populism is also an expression used to describe groups and political parties generally known for their opposition to immigration, mostly from the Islamic world and, in some cases, from (other members of) the European Union. Traditional right-wing views such as opposition to an increasing support for the welfare state and a “more lavish, but also more restrictive, domestic social spending” scheme is also described under right-wing populism and is sometimes called “welfare chauvinism“.
From the 1990’s right-wing populist parties became established in the legislatures of various democracies including Canada, Norway, France, Israel, Poland, Russia, Romania and Chile, and entered coalition governments in Switzerland, Austria, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and Italy. Although extreme right-wing movements in the US have been studied separately, where they are normally called “radical right,” some writers consider them to be the same phenomenon. Right-wing populism is distinct from conservativism but several right-wing populist parties have their roots in conservative political parties. Still others have links to fascist movements founded during the interwar period when Italian, German, Hungarian, Spanish and Japanese fascism rose to power.