The Danish party system and the rise of the right in the 2001 parliamentary election
The 2001 elections represent a watershed in Danish electoral politics. (1) In every national election from 1924 through 1998, the Social Democrats emerged as the strongest party in terms of both popular support and parliamentary representation. (2) From 1924 to 2001, Social Democrats held the prime ministerial office for forty-eight of the seventy-two years that Denmark was unoccupied by a foreign invader. (3) The Social Democratic vote of 29.1% in 2001 represents the party’s lowest level of electoral support since the “political earthquake” of the 1973 elections. That year, the Social Democratic party garnered only 25.6% of the total vote. (4) Then, as now, the fall of the Social Democrats’ vote was associated with the rise of new right-wing forces in Danish politics. In 1973, however, the Social Democrats remained Denmark’s largest and “natural party of government.” (5)
In 2001, Denmark’s Liberal party gained a narrow plurality over the long-dominant Social Democrats (see Table 1). After the election, the Liberals formed a new minority coalition government with the Conservatives. (6) The new government depends on the parliamentary support of the anti-immigrant Danish People’s party, yet it is extremely unlikely that this party would be offered cabinet representation in any foreseeable circumstances. (7) The change of government could lead to a new free-market oriented direction in tax, social spending, and labor market policies. (8) But the most controversial campaign issue proved to be immigration, which, in response to fight-wing pressure, the mainstream parties, including the Social Democrats, promised to curtail. (9)
Denmark’s Parliamentary Parties (11)
To better understand the narrative and analysis of the 2001 parliamentary election in Denmark that follows, a brief guide to Denmark’s parliamentary parties is offered here. The Liberals represent one of the four “old parties” of the Danish political system. Although historically an agrarian party, today it is strongly pro-European Union (EU) and free-market oriented. The Liberals appear to have profited in electoral terms from anti-immigrant sentiment. Sharper restrictions on immigration, however, are not supported by Danish business interests, which may rely upon the continued availability of lower-skilled workers. While immigration was the major issue of the campaign, it is likely that tax reduction is a goal of greater interest to party leadership and its core constituents. Given the need for fiscal orthodoxy in order to maintain currency stability vis-a-vis the EU, tax cuts will be limited by the minority government’s ability to make less popular cuts in public spending. (12)
Long the leading party of Denmark, but never holding an electoral majority, the Social Democrats may be perceived as the establishment. Historically, this is the party of labor and the primary architect of one of the most advanced welfare states. (13) In recent years, the party’s base is found in the public sector as many private sector wage earners have shifted their political allegiance to the Liberals or the Danish People’s party. (14) During the 2001 electoral campaign, the Social Democrats adopted anti-immigrant rhetoric that was both unconvincing in light of its policies in government and unseemly within the context of the party’s socially liberal ideology. The Social Democrats are pro-EU and have long maintained a comfortable relationship with the more progressive elements of the Danish business community. (15)
The Danish People’s party, currently the third largest party in the Danish electorate and parliament (Folketing), is most strongly identified with its anti-immigrant, “Denmark for Danes” agenda. The party is also decidedly anti-EU but pro-welfare state. Early indications are that the Danish People’s party will not necessarily acquiesce to the Liberal-Conservative minority government’s efforts to curb social spending. (16)
Traditionally the party of industry and protectionism, the Conservatives, one of the “old parties,” are the junior coalition partner in the current government. The Conservatives’ program is similar to that of the Liberals, especially concerning the EU and the general lines of economic and fiscal policy. (17)
In the late 1950s, the Socialist People’s party emerged from an anti-Stalinist wing of the Danish Communist party with an ideological commitment to democratic socialism that anticipated the Eurocommunism movement of the 1970s and 1980s. This party has successfully incorporated “new left” elements (feminism, ecology) into its program and appears entrenched in the Danish political system as the major force to the left of the social democratic-liberal establishment. The Socialist People’s party is Euro-skeptical but not so starkly anti-EU as parties of the far left and right. Although the Socialist People’s party has acted as a parliamentary support party (Stotteparti) for the Social Democrats, it has not assumed the role of a junior coalition partner, and, thus, has never held any cabinet offices. (18)
The Radicals are a socially liberal party that emerged from a reformist and pacifist wing of the Liberal party. Politiken, Denmark’s leading daily newspaper, is ideologically affiliated with the Radical party, which is considered a “bourgeois” party in terms of its traditional constituency. Since the 1920s, the Radicals have played a recurring role as junior coalition partner to the Social Democrats. Yet they maintain their distinctiveness from the traditional socialist left by emphasizing their commitment to market economics. They are strongly pro-EU, much like the other three “old parties” of the Danish political mainstream. (19)
The Red-Green Unity List is a coalition of old and new left components, including communists and environmentalists. It rejects the EU on Marxist and ecological grounds, and is considered the most left-wing of the parliamentary parties. (20)
The Christian People’s party is best described as Christian Democratic in ideology. It appeals to socially conservative voters (a campaign theme was the restriction of pornography on cable television during the daytime) but is supportive of the welfare state, especially the extension of longer paid parental leave. The party is associated with a minor Christian trade union movement, and thus tends to support efforts by the government to curtail the power of the dominant and ideologically social democratic trade union federation. (21)
Two parties that lost their parliamentary seats in the 2001 election were the Center Democrats (22) and the Progress party. Both emerged as parliamentary factors during the political upheaval of the 1973 election. (23) The Center Democrats (CD) fell just under the two percent threshold for parliamentary representation with 1.8% of the vote. In the 1970s, CD emerged as a force for curtailment of socialist ambitions, but its centrist position could allow it to act as a coalition partner to the Social Democrats if it were to regain the status of a parliamentary party. Progress (0.6% of the 2001 vote) is a right-wing populist party whose anti-establishment thunder appears to have been stolen by the Danish People’s party and thus may now be a spent force in Danish politics. (24)
The programs and appeal of these parties reflect the parameters of Danish political discourse. These may be identified in terms of four ideological clusters: liberal, socialist, Christian, and nationalist. These ideological clusters are interconnected in Danish public life and the outlooks of the Danish people. They are also products of historical and material circumstances. For example, the success of electoral socialism in Scandinavia is known to even the most casual student of comparative politics. Historically, the Danish Social Democratic party began as an explicitly Marxist party that rejected any collaboration with liberal “bourgeois” parties. According to the party’s 1876 Gimle program, all non-socialists were regarded as a “single reactionary mass.” (25) In time, this revolutionary party grew into the establishment entity that some now refer to sardonically as “the Royal Danish Social Democratic Party.” Its staying power, as well as its moderation, are practically and historically speaking, connected to the strength and corporatist institutionalization of labor organizations in Danish society, where trade union density is around eighty percent of the workforce.
Danish liberalism is a product not so much of a classic bourgeoisie but rather the political and economic autonomy and self-organization of an independent Danish peasantry. In the nineteenth century, Denmark was, and remains, an exporter of agricultural products and its agrarian producers have long been proponents of free trade and economic openness. During the international economic crises of the 1920s and 1930s which severely affected export-dependent Denmark, the farmers’ interests shifted temporarily toward protection. This shift helped undermine the position of the agrarian-liberal party that had hitherto been the country’s “natural party of government” and, in so doing, helped usher in the Social Democratic era. (26)
Even though they have been free traders, generally speaking, Danish farmers have not been strict classical liberals. Indeed, the historical strength of the cooperative movement in the agricultural sector and in nineteenth century rural society is seen today as setting the stage for the twentieth century development of the social state. This self-help tradition of Danish agrarians, combined with their historical role as agents of constitutional reform and democratization, has led one commentator to assert that modern Denmark emerged from the nineteenth century as a unique instance of “peasant ideological hegemony.” (27) As such, twentieth century Danish society has developed in a pattern where the small producers’ interest in autonomy is not automatically considered to be inconsistent with an active role for the state. Distinctive Danish aspects of the combination of liberalism and cooperation today include the practice of state funding for even the smallest and most dissident political factions as well as parent-organized schools that promote religious, cultural, and even radical ideological agendas. As Danish political analyst Niels Finn Christiansen notes, “[t]hroughout the twentieth century, even in critical periods of class conflict, religious, educational and political organizations–many of them left-wing-have continued to have most of their expenses covered by the state, without being subject to any kind of ideological control.” (28) Where such a symbiotic relationship between state and civil society exists, it seems more than likely that the line between liberals and socialists will more readily blur, encouraging “revisionism” in the working-class movement and opening the liberal elements to greater acceptance of social reform. (29)
Historically, the small farmers and progressives among the urban middle classes were represented in the “radical left.” The Radical party could be said to be the historical representative of the alliance between liberal and socialist politics in Denmark that, despite its small size, has been a major contributor to the development of a modern democratic constitution. The constitution includes a system of proportional representation with a two percent threshold and a unicameral national legislature that is required to take major issues, such as the constitutional revisions necessary for greater participation in the EU, to the people in national referenda. The Radicals also have a pacifist tradition that, given the party’s typically influential position in parliament, has contributed to a low fiscal priority given to military spending as well as the oft-critical attitude that Denmark has exhibited toward its NATO allies during and since the Cold War. (30) Given the strong anti-communism typical of the Social Democrats, the Radicals are arguably to their left on military and foreign policy issues. In recent years, this party has readily embraced new social movement issues such as ecology and feminism, and exhibits a notable concern for the impact of new technology on the work place and quality of life. Support for such “post-material” concerns are generally embraced by two of the larger “old parties”: Social Democrats and Liberals. Indeed, the environmental positions articulated in the parties’ programs are such that it is difficult to see any room in Danish politics for a specifically Green party to emerge. (31)
Historically, the Conservatives were the party favored by the monarchy that controlled the upper house of the parliament (abolished in 1953) long after the Liberals had become dominant in the more democratically-based lower chamber. Adapting to more modern conditions, Conservatives embraced economic and political nationalism. During early twentieth century industrialization, they championed protectionism. During the Nazi occupation, Conservative leader Christmas Moller became the voice of resistance, broadcasting speeches over the radio to Denmark from exile in London. Moller and his fellow Conservative patriots joined with other Nazi resisters, including a popular Christian-based cooperative movement and the Danish Communist party. Despite their heroic role during the war years, these groups played rather minor roles in post-war Danish politics. The Moller-led Conservatives made some overtures to the Social Democrats during the 1950s, but a coalition was never formed between the two parties. Throughout the twentieth century, the Conservatives have been relegated most frequently to the third string by the larger voter support for the Liberals and Social Democrats. Conservatives nonetheless played the leading role in the “bourgeois governments” of the 1980s. Danish Conservatism carries no historical taint of collaboration or racism, yet despite its best efforts to present itself as a national-popular party, it proved to be no match, historically speaking, for the electoral popularity of the political parties of the large social classes of farmers and workers. (32)
Until the 1970s, Denmark lacked a party of specific Christian Democratic orientation and no such party has ever been a major factor in the country’s electoral politics. Even so, there is a definite influence of Christian strands in Denmark’s ideological dynamics. Within the established national Lutheran church there is an evangelical, or “pietist” tradition associated with the nineteenth century bishop, poet, and educator N.F.S. Grundtvig (1783-1872). The Grundtvigian tradition includes a strong emphasis on moral and civic education, a non-militaristic form of nationalism, and an ideal of Denmark as a country where “few have too much and fewer too little.” (33) This popular religious tradition is not antagonistic to democracy and social reform, but rather is capable of finding common ground with agrarian-based liberal democrats and urban socialists on many issues.
In contemporary Denmark, the growth of a modern export-dependent industrial society has rendered obsolete the agrarianism of the Liberals and the economic nationalism of the Conservatives. The modern party system was built on traditional social cleavages of class differences between workers, and the various strata of the farmers and the bourgeoisie. By the mid-1990s, only four percent of the civilian work force was employed in agriculture and twenty-seven percent in industry with the balance found in the service sector, public and private. (34) Today, one in three employed Danes work in the public sector and better than one-half of the national income is consumed and redistributed by and through the public sector. While the welfare state is highly comprehensive, it does not appear to be the case that an overly large proportion of the population is welfare-dependent. The demographic dependency ratio, the numerical relationship between the active working population and those dependent on state aid is 0.83, one of the lowest such ratios in the EU. (35)
Contemporary frictions within the body politic manifest the conflict of interest between the private and public sectors. As one neo-Marxist analyst describes present-day ideological tensions:
the growth of groups performing what classical political economy
regarded as unproductive labour, absorbing surplus value, has
predictably led to tensions with the traditional surplus-producing
sectors of the working-class (not to speak of the bourgeoisie).
Many workers in Denmark have tended to view public-sector employees
as parasites living on taxes extracted from hard-working producers
in industry, farming, fishing, retailing and so on-without seeing
the extent to which the growth of this kind of state is a
consequence of capitalist development, which often subjects its
employees to low pay and hard work too. (36)
In contemporary electoral politics, working class voters in the private sector are more likely to vote Liberal, while public sector employees of the professional-managerial strata are prone to vote for parties of the Left. (37) The growth of the social state has thus altered class formations in fundamental ways, yet the liberal, socialist, Christian, and nationalist elements can still be seen in party programs and issue positions.
The Immigration Issue
A sociologist from the U.S. who had lived in Denmark for over twenty years, wrote in 1985 that if “you want to know what is Danish about Denmark, ask first a Greenlander and then a guestworker.” (38) According to this view, Danish political culture values security and well being for all members of the national community, but that acquisition of such membership was virtually impossible for someone who was born an outsider. In recent years, the number of these outsiders has increased notably. The political indications of their alienation and distance from Danish society are growing as well.
Denmark is home to slightly more than five million persons, a population level that has held steady since the mid-1970s. As of 2001, less than 395,947 persons (7.4% of the total) in this population were immigrants or the children of immigrants. 292,686 of these immigrants and their children were from “third countries,” i.e., countries of origin other than Scandinavia, the EU, or North America. (39) The countries of origin represented in this immigrant population include Turkey, the former Yugoslavia, Lebanon, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Ethiopia, Thailand, and Vietnam. This group is ethnically and religiously diverse and includes a significant number of Muslims in a country that is highly secularized and predominantly Christian (ninety-one percent of the general population are nominal members of the state-supported Evangelical Lutheran Church). (40)
This wave of immigration is a novel aspect of Danish society. As recently as 1996, a leading U.S.-based student of the Danish political scene could write “[the] nation is homogeneous … There are no racial, ethnic, or linguistic disunities. The only ethnic minority is 30,000 Germans living in south Jutland. Of the 1987 population, ninety-eight per cent had been born in Denmark.” (41) Yet in the 1998 elections, the Danish People’s party entered the scene with an ideological message of preserving a homogeneous Danish ethnic identity in the face of the growing multiculturalism of Danish reality. This appeal captured 7.4% of the vote in the party’s first electoral effort, complicating the political strategies of the established parties in the process. (42)
The prominence of the immigration issue in the 2001 election campaign caught some Danish academics by surprise. They were especially shocked by the illiberal and xenophobic tone of election eve rhetoric. In interviews and discussions with colleagues and students from August through October, most Danish academics anticipated that taxation would emerge as the major campaign issue. Despite the country’s strong economic performance, the Social Democrats were vulnerable to electoral defeat due to public restiveness with high levels of taxation. The tax issue worked to the advantage of the Liberals, the leading party of the center-right and strongest representative of pro-EU market-oriented liberalism in Danish politics. Yet during the campaign, both Liberal and Social Democratic leaders seemed most responsive to the issues of the far Right. (43)
Right-wing nationalism has become a prominent part of Danish politics at a time when the economy is performing well and unemployment is low as is Denmark’s rate of immigration compared to those of neighboring Sweden and Germany where no right-wing populist party has been able to establish itself in recent years. The Financial Times blamed Liberal and Social Democratic leaders for “allowing the extreme right’s anti-immigrant agenda to dominate the campaign.” (44)
The anti-immigrant tone of the campaign was such that sharp criticisms of the major parties appeared in mainstream media and from other notable sources. While cheered by the victory of the center-right, Swedish conservatives voiced concern over the strident tone adopted by their Danish counterparts. The International Association of Liberal Parties, as well as the Nordic Association of the same organization, criticized their Danish colleague party for its use of xenophobia to help win an election. The Copenhagen Post, a newspaper known to headline stories associating criminality and welfare fraud with the immigrant community, expressed concern that Denmark might now gain a reputation similar to Austria’s as a place unfriendly to foreigners. The consequence of this, the paper feared, would be a loss of tourist trade. (45)
Warnings were also issued to the effect that Denmark’s economy would suffer due to labor shortages if immigration were severely curtailed. It was further pointed out that the low Danish birth rate of 1.7 children per Danish woman and the rising average age of the population, now exceeding thirty-nine years, would endanger the future of the social pension system unless the infusion of new workers is continued. According to the state’s public information website, the “number of persons to seek asylum in Denmark was cut in half in the first six months of 2002,” down to 3,223 as compared to 12,512 for the whole of 2001. This decline was not attributed to the liberal-conservative government’s new policy, which did not go into effect until July 1,2002, but to “all the international press coverage about the controversial debate that discouraged persons from attempting to get into the country.” (46)
The new Center-Right government acted promptly in establishing a new cabinet-level Ministry of Refugee, Immigration, and Integration Affairs. The summary policy statement on the home page of the new ministry’s website emphasizes the benefits of immigration to Denmark, noting that the newcomers are “bringing qualities and competencies needed by our enterprises and the Danish society.” Some validity is given to a common right-wing criticism of immigrants with the assertion that “the proportion of our new citizens not on the labour market is far too large.” The policy statement, however, also emphasizes the need to “‘integrate the new citizens so that they can take part in working and social life on an equal footing.” (47)
The Danish government’s immigration policy may be best described as integrationist, highlighting themes of economic and cultural integration, including an emphasis on effective Danish language acquisition. The policy is not exclusionist toward udlaendige (foreigners) as the Danish People’s party would prefer, at least not in principle. Nor is the policy multicultural, as it places no value on the preservation of immigrant communities’ languages or cultural mores beyond basic constitutionally protected freedoms (i.e., religion, association).
The integrationist approach of the new immigration ministry is consistent with the integrationist approach put forward by the Think Tank on Integration in Denmark in its policy document, “The Integration of Foreigners in Danish Society.” The Think Tank’s statement, issued in June 2001, may be considered broadly representative of the outlook of the previous, Social Democratic-led, government. The Think Tank set forth seven criteria for successful integration:
–Danish language skills and education necessary to participate in the labor market
–Employment at the same rate as Danes
–Economic independence without public aid at the same rate as Danes
–Lack of discrimination against foreigners, intentional or unintentional
–Contact between foreigners and Danes in all aspects of everyday life
–Participation in political life to same extent as Danes as citizenship status permits
–Fundamental norms and values; shared respect for democracy, equal rights, and tolerance (48)
The integrationist approach emphasizes the importance of labor market participation, education, and the cultural attunement of immigrants to the liberal democratic norms of Danish society as well as the need for Danes to tolerate and respect the rights of the immigrants. Integrationists distinguish their position from assimilation, clearly indicating that the integration of foreigners does not require them to change religion, manner of dress, or culinary culture. (49) In practice, the integrationists have clear challenges to overcome insofar as rates of labor force participation and receipt of public assistance remain distinctly higher among the immigrant communities than the general society.
Danish business elites have publicly embraced an integrationist approach to immigration. After the 2001 election, Torben Moller-Hansen, director of the Association for the Integration of New Danes, warned that if “the world at large … believes that we belong to the same ilk as Austria, I cannot imagine that it would have anything other than a negative influence on exports.” (50) This association, whose membership includes the personnel directors of major Danish firms such as Danisco, Superfos, and Carl Bro, appears to have a basic interest in supporting the Liberal-Conservative government’s emphasis on recruiting skilled workers from abroad at a time when unemployment in Denmark remains below five percent and labor shortages are acute in sectors that demand highly skilled labor. (51)
The integrationist approach is rejected by the Danish People’s party, which opposes the idea that Denmark is a multicultural immigration society. Advocating an ethno-nationalist “Denmark for Danes” ideology, the Danish People’s party program states that asylum seekers “should be sent home as soon as it is possible” and opposes admittance of new immigrants to Denmark for purposes of family reunification. (52)
The Rise and Evolution of the Danish Right
The upsurge of the right-wing in Danish politics began abruptly, catching nearly all observers by surprise when the Progress party emerged from the 1973 election with almost sixteen percent of the vote in its first electoral effort. The Progress party entered Danish politics as an anti-tax populist party with greatest appeal to self-employed voters, restive under the tax burdens of the social welfare system that had been built up in Denmark during the 1960s. (53)
The emergence of the Progress party signaled the presence of public disaffection with the established parties of the Center and Right as well as the Social Democrats. In 1968, a three party “bourgeois government” had come to power under the leadership of the Radicals, supported by the Liberals and Conservatives. This government increased social spending and taxes, both direct and indirect, at a greater rate than the preceding Social Democratic government. Progress party leader Mogens Glistrup claimed, with some validity at the time, that Denmark had four social democratic parties and only one liberal party, his own. (54)
In addition to the Progress party, two other new parties received enough votes to enter parliament in the “earthquake election” of 1973, the Center Democrats (7.8%) and the Christian People’s party (5.3%). As with the Progress party, both parties represented reaction to the established parties. In combination, the three new parties polled twenty-nine percent of the votes in that year of electoral upheaval. The Center Democrats were led by a former Social Democrat, Erhard Jacobsen, who opposed the established party’s cooperation with the communists during the 1960s. The Christian People’s party represented social conservatives disaffected with the established Conservatives participation in the Radical government that had liberalized a number of laws regulating public mores in the late 1960s. (55)
The rise of new Right forces in Danish politics in the early 1970s may be said to have resulted from disaffections with the development of a secular social welfare state. The Center Democrats and the Christian People’s party, however, support the fundamental norms of the welfare state. Although the Christian People’s party criticizes certain aspects of the secular culture (the availability of abortion, pornography, drugs, and the problem of alcohol abuse), it does not challenge the fundamental status quo of the social welfare system. Nor do the Center Democrats. The Progress party, in contrast, challenges the underlying political economy and the role of the state as social and economic manager of Denmark. Although the Progress party’s percentage share of the vote fell into the single digits after its initial burst of success, it maintained a parliamentary presence until the 2001 election and remained true to the anti-state net-liberalism of its founder. Thus, as German political scientist Hans-Georg Betz’s notes, Progress is a “genuinely right-libertarian” party. (56)
After entering the political scene, the Progress party acted as a gadfly to the Danish establishment, perhaps reflecting the spirit of the party’s founding in the summer of 1972 at the Tivoli amusement park. For example, the party suggested that in order to lower public spending and taxes, Greenland and the Faeroes should be auctioned off to the highest bidder. Additionally, to save the public’s money from being wasted, Danish defense forces could be disbanded and replaced by a taped “we surrender” message in Russian. (57) Progress party founder Mogens Glistrup first gained prominence (and notoriety) as a tax lawyer, who claimed that he and his clients were able to legally evade the payment of any income taxes through the manipulation of various loopholes in the complex Danish tax code. Several individuals challenged Glistrup’s leadership of the Progess party, including current Danish People’s party leader Pia Kjaersgaard who wished to give the far right a more pragmatic agenda to enhance the party’s chances of electoral success. Kjaersgaard first gained public prominence as Glistrup’s “heir apparent” for Progress party leadership. (58) When Glistrup was jailed in the 1980s for tax evasion, Kjaersgaard and her supporters modified the Progress party’s program, toning down its anti-welfare aspects. After his release in 1985, Glistrup engaged in a power struggle with the more “moderate” faction for leadership of the party. Eventually, the Kjaersgaard group formed a separate party, the Danish People’s party, which, in 2001, came close to matching the level of electoral support that the Progress party received in 1973. (59)
It was Glistrup who, in his familiar role of provacateur, first made an issue of immigration in Danish politics. In the 1987 elections, the Progress party attacked the presence of immigrants, asylum-seekers, and AIDS patients in the Danish population, calling for mandatory registration of the latter group by the authorities. (60) In the 1988 elections, Glistrup focused on the religious culture of many of the new immigrants, telling the press covering the campaign, “All Muslims come to Denmark to conquer the unbelieving nation with Mohammed’s teachings and to milk the national treasury.” Glistrup’s comments elicited charges of racism from other parties, but the Progress party’s vote rose to 9.0% from 4.8% in the previous election. (61) Apparently, the Danish Right had found the means to connect its anti-welfare message with cultural anxieties about immigration in a politically potent mixture.
Across Western Europe, the late 1980s witnessed a shift in the agenda as “radical right-wing populist parties increasingly muted their commitments to individualism, entrepreneurship and a free-market spirit in favor of the new issues of xenophobia and ethnic exclusion.” (62) Betz notes that the evolution of the populist Right from anti-welfare politics to anti-foreigner politics was accompanied by a shift in the social base of support for these parties. In the case of the Progress party, the primary base of its support in the 1979 elections was among the self-employed, but by 1988, half of the party’s voters were workers. In 1973, the Progress party received sixteen percent of the vote equally from all voters at low, medium, and high levels of educational attainment. By 1988, the party received only three percent of the vote from Danes of high levels of educational attainment but eleven percent at the low level. (63) Hence the Progress party had political incentive to tone down its free-market orientation in favor of issues that might find resonance among the less educated and less well off Danish voters. Betz connects the Right’s shift to anti-immigration themes to the rise of mass unemployment in the late 1980s and an increasing sense of economic vulnerability in certain segments of the working class. (64)
While economic anxiety may have contributed to the rise of the Right during the 1980s, Denmark’s economy performed very strongly during the latter half of the 1990s through 2001. During the rise of the Danish People’s party, the country’s unemployment rate stood below five percent and prices were stable. At the time of the 2001 election there were no indications of an economic downturn, despite the concerns raised by the impact of the events of September 11th and the imminent implementation of the European single currency in most of Denmark’s major trading partner nations. Clearly then, economic distress is not the cause of the current resurgence of the Danish Right. Nonetheless, the ensemble of cultural and economic anxieties that promote reactionary politics elsewhere in contemporary Europe and elsewhere, may be seen in the program and appeal of the Danish People’s party.
Ideologically, the Danish People’s party has jettisoned the militant free-market individualism of its Progress party predecessor. In addressing the welfare system, the program of the Danish People’s party is egalitarian in its social philosophy, “the state is bound to support these Danes who are in need, and bring them security and peace of mind.” (65) The party endorses a tax cut as well, a position with cross-class appeal, but the overall position of the Danish People’s party on issues of taxes and welfare would appear difficult to differentiate substantially from that of the Liberals. The Liberals also claim that taxes can be reduced without harm being done to the social welfare system. Indeed, since the election the Danish People’s party has opposed a proposal of the Liberal-Conservative government to make some cuts in state spending for education. (66)
In place of the neo-liberal populism of the Progress party, the Danish People’s party promotes a neo-nationalist populism with a heavy emphasis on Danish ethnic identity. First and foremost, the Danish People’s party presents itself as the defender of Denmark as the home country of ethnic Danes. Explicitly rejecting the idea that Denmark is or should be “multicultural,” the party program is silent with respect to the role in Danish society of such long-established national minorities as Jews, Germans, and Greenlanders. In addition to the party’s anti-immigration emphasis, its program reaffirms state support for the established national Lutheran church. It also stands in complete opposition to Denmark’s incorporation in the EU, including the single currency rejected by Danish voters in a September 2000 national referendum by a fifty-three to forty-seven percent margin. (67)
Danish public opinion toward Europe has fluctuated through six referenda since the 1972 vote in favor of joining the European Community, through the rejection of the Maastricht Treaty and its later acceptance with reservations. Throughout these fluctuations, one can observe a strong and consistent Euro-skepticism in Danish public opinion as well as the presence of an enduring current of outfit opposition to participation in the European project. Mainstream Danish Euro-skeptics question the specific value and benefits of European economic and monetary integration. For the Danish People’s party, the rejection of Europe appears to rest on affective rather than instrumental-economic considerations. In place of the EU, the Danish People’s party suggests that Denmark pursue closer integration with other Nordic-speaking countries. While a “Nordic option” hints at an underlying desire for pan-Nordic politics, it has little or no practical likelihood of success given the established and varying trade patterns and policies of each of the Nordic countries. (68)
The appeal of the Danish People’s party cannot be explained by direct reference to economic distress or decline. One might better understand its rise as a reaction to globalization and dynamic changes that Denmark, like so many other countries, is currently experiencing. The Danish People’s party’s anti-immigration stance is in the main a rejection of the cultural diversity represented by Islamic religious and non-European ethnic backgrounds of most of the newer immigrants. By combining with the party’s rejection of the EU, newly found affection for the welfare state, and defense of the established Church (positions not embraced nor emphasized by the Progress party), a politics of national anxiety is defined. The Danish People’s party profile defines a posture of defense for an “idyllic” image of Denmark as it has been. Danish right-wing ideology is thus a rejection of those external forces that threaten fundamental change to this national self-image. (69)
The evolution and electoral successes of the Danish Right over the past three decades indicates popular disaffection with social change and distrust of the course set by established political parties. This populist reaction resonates across contemporary Western Europe and is illustrated by the election results of 2002 which witnessed the second place finish of Jean-Marie Le Pen in the first round of the French presidential election as well as the Dutch election results that brought the anti-immigrant Pim Fortuyn List to power in a coalition of the Right. The vote in Denmark in October 2001 seems to have set the tone for these political events. In each instance (Denmark, France, and in the Netherlands), the chief electoral losers were Center-Left social democratic parties, forced out of government in each case. (70)
In comparison to other western European anti-immigrant parties, the Danish People’s party stands in what may be regarded as the second tier in terms of electoral success and political influence. Along with comparable neo-nationalist groupings in France, Norway, and Belgium, the Danish People’s party has the support of a tenth or more of the voters in recent parliamentary elections. As such, these parties are significant factors in election campaigns that are influencing their country’s legislative agendas as well as the programs of other parties. In both Austria and the Netherlands, the anti-immigrant party has become a party of government and is now the second largest party in each of those countries. The Dutch party is a very recent development and its future is uncertain in the wake of the assassination of its charismatic namesake. Its ideology emphasizes “protection” of Dutch culture from the effects of large-scale immigration along with “post-material” themes, such as gay rights that are lacking in the programs of the other parties listed in Table 2 below. (71)
The twelve percent of the vote received by the Danish People’s party in 2001 was spread evenly across the country. The largest vote attained by the party at the country level was fourteen percent in southern Jutland and its lowest share was in western Copenhagen at 10.9%. (72) It is noteworthy that even in its most successful election years, the Progress party’s vote in Copenhagen’s working class districts dragged behind its national level of support. (73) This is especially interesting since the new immigrant population is relatively concentrated in Greater Copenhagen’s working class suburbs such as Ishoj. Ishoj is located in western Copenhagen, the Danish People’s party’s weakest area in terms of electoral support. In somewhat ironic contrast, the highest vote of the party whose slogan is “Denmark for Danes” was in southern Jutland, where recent immigrants are sparsely represented but the country’s ethnic Germans, whose cultural rights are subject to legal protection, are concentrated. The variation in regional support nonetheless is small enough that the Danish People’s party might be regarded as a “catch-all” party comparable to the Progress party in the 1970s. While more information is needed concerning the class, demographic, and attitudinal aspects of support for the Danish People’s party, general indications are that the party has broad appeal. If that appeal is lasting, it poses a distinct threat to the established parties. As the most established of all Danish parties, the Social Democrats then ought to regard the 2001 election results with grave concern, if not yet “fear and trembling” as a marker of a major realignment to the Right. (74)
Was 2001 a Realigning Election?
The leading role of the Social Democrats in Danish politics is now in doubt. Immediately after the 2001 election, Social Democratic party leader Poul Nyrup Rasmussen remarked, “Politics, like life, has its ups and downs. We shall return.” (75) Perhaps Nyrup Rasmussen was expressing the complacency of a party too long accustomed to power. By contrast, Liberal leader Anders Fogh Rasmussen claimed that the “Liberal Party is now Denmark’s largest party. We have made a huge breakthrough and are now a broad, modern party of the people.” (76) If one examines Danish election trends since the early 1970s, there is reason to believe that while the Social Democrats are likely to return to power someday. Fogh Rasmussen is also correct to claim that something of major importance has transpired. As Table 3 indicates, despite the upheaval of 1973, the Social Democrats remained Denmark’s largest party in terms of voting strength by a significant plurality, typically better than ten percent, sometimes better than twenty. In 2001, this was no longer the case.
Table 3 also illustrates that 2001 is the third time in the last thirty years that the Social Democrats’ leading position in Danish electoral politics has been challenged in a serious way. The emergence of the Progress party in 1973 led to a historically low vote for the Social Democrats. But the Progress party was unable to establish itself as the leading opposition party, as the second place position shifted back and forth between the Progress party and the established center-right parties for the rest of the decade. Throughout the 1980s, the Conservative party was able to maintain its voting level as the second largest party, and its party leader, Poul Schluter, successfully led the longest running “bourgeois government” in the post-war era (1982-93). After 1993, when the Social Democrats returned to power, the Liberals re-emerged as the leading opposition party, attaining a plurality in 2001. For the moment at least, the Social Democrats have lost their historical ascendancy over the leading bourgeois party.
In Danish politics the Social Democrats must fight for votes on two fronts, their left as well as their right. While no party to the left of the Social Democrats has held cabinet-level office since the immediate post-World War II government of national unity, the socialist left remains a significant electoral factor, often commanding about ten percent of the vote. Arguably, this consistent demonstration of popular support for a fully socialist program helps to keep pressure on the Social Democrats to avoid an enthusiastic acceptance of the type of market-oriented politics that Center-Left parties elsewhere have embraced. Yet, objectively speaking, increases in electoral support for the Left may, at times, help the Center-Right gain power. (78)
Since 1960, the Socialist People’s party has been the leading electoral force to the left of the Social Democrats. In addition to the Socialist People’s party, a number of others have been able at times to cross the two percent minimum threshold required by the Danish system of proportional representation. These include the Communists, the Left Socialists, Common Course, and the Red-Green Unity List that is currently represented in the Folketing. Table 4 shows an interesting relationship between the votes for the Left in relation to that cast for the Social Democrats. Specifically, during the 1980s, and, to a somewhat lesser extent the 1970s, the relative decline of the Social Democrats’ vote was partially explicable by a rise in the vote of the Left. Again one can see that in 2001 this was no longer the case.
Denmark’s 2001 election witnessed the socialist vote fall to its second lowest level in eighty years. For the Danish parties of the “socialist bloc,” namely, those parties that are self-defined as social democratic, socialist, or communist, their combined vote fell to thirty-eight percent of the total. Given Denmark’s reputation as a stronghold of electoral socialism, it may be surprising to some that at no point in the nation’s history has there been a voting majority in any election for the “socialist bloc.” From 1924 to 1998, with the exception of the earthquake election of 1973, the total socialist vote has never dropped below forty percent or risen above fifty percent, fluctuating between a low point of 41.2% (1975) and a high point of 49.9% (1966) (In 1973, the socialist bloc’s vote was 35.2%).
The closest Denmark has come to a socialist majority in government occurred after the 1966 elections when the combined parliamentary vote of the Socialists and Social Democrats represented a majority of one. Disregarding their traditional alliance with the “bourgeois” Radicals, the Social Democrats formed a single party minority government that depended on the parliamentary support of the Socialist People’s party. The experiment in “socialist government” collapsed after two years when the Socialist People’s party opposed the Social Democratic government’s decision to indefinitely delay a cost of living increase in workers’ wages. (79)
While support for social democratic and socialist parties may be on the wane in Denmark, there is also a converse indication in the 2001 results that the composite strength of the Right is on the rise. Table 5 illustrates the comparative voting strength of the major Center-Right parties. This table suggests that there has been a fairly direct trade-off between the votes for the Liberals, Conservatives, and far Right parties. In the 1970s, when the Progress party entered the electoral arena with a flourish, the votes for the Center-Right were severely lowered as the combined Liberal-Conservative vote fell below thirty percent for five successive elections. In 1998, this pattern seemed to repeat itself as the Danish People’s party came on the scene and the combined Liberal-Conservative vote fell below thirty-three percent. Yet, in 2001 there was a rise in both the vote for the Right as well as the Center-Right. Only the Progress party appears to have suffered from the upsurge of the Danish People’s party in the most recent election.
As Table 5 indicates, the combined Liberal-Conservative vote in 2001 surpassed forty percent, reaching the level generally typical of the socialist bloc of parties. The sum of the vote of the three leading parties of the Right now represents an electoral and a parliamentary majority. These facts, along with the fall below forty percent for what had been a steady vote for the socialist parties, are the strongest evidence to indicate that 2001 was a realigning or “critical election.” This implies that a new dominant pattern is emerging in Danish politics, one that would be typified by the leadership of the parties and interests of the Right. (81) In other words, the Danish party system is not experiencing the kind of “oscillation” exhibited in the two earlier periods (1973-75; 1982-88) of Social Democratic crisis. Rather, the electoral volatility of 2001 could be setting the stage for an extended period of right-wing dominance.
The distinctly right-wing profile of the new electoral alignment is illustrated by the decline in the influence of the Radical party. Historically, this small party of the center has played such a crucial role in the formation of Danish governments that it was a cliche to refer to the Radical party as the tungen pa vaegtsklan (“weight that tips the balance”). (83) In this pivotal role, the Radicals provided crucial support to the Social Democratic governments of the 1990s as well as in the earlier periods of Social Democratic ascendancy (1920s-30s; 1950s-60s). By the same token, the Liberals and Conservatives relied upon the Radicals to form bourgeois governments in the 1980s as well as after the fall of the socialist government in 1968. Ideologically, the Radicals considered it their role in Danish politics “to prevent a division into two hostile ideological blocs,” moderating, humanizing, and liberalizing the socialist and capitalist ideologues to their left and right. As a party of social reform, but of liberal not socialist provenance, the Radical party may claim to be the vital ingredient in the creation and preservation of a political culture in Denmark that is typified as “cooperative popular government” (det samarbejdende folkstyre). (84)
After 2001, the Radicals found themselves in opposition and were not invited to participate in the formation of a Center-Right cabinet. They are not now large enough to be considered fundamentally important to the parliamentary support of the government. That position of influence has shifted to the far Right.
Danish De-alignment and Its Sources
Since 1971, the combined vote of the Social Democrats and Radicals has fallen short of a majority while the combined Liberal-Conservative vote remains, even after 2001, barely above forty percent. The Danish electoral system might then be better described as a system in de-alignment rather than one experiencing realignment. Table 6 lends credence to a de-alignment interpretation. As this table illustrates, Danish votes for the European Parliament are even more fragmented than the national election results. This fragmentation is a function of the two anti-EU lists, which between them receive about a quarter of the vote.
If one regards Danish electoral politics as de-aligned, with no party or ideological bloc well positioned to maintain a position of leadership for very long, then this process could be said to have begun in 1973. It should be noted in this context that Denmark joined the EEC in 1972 along with Great Britain. The Danish decision to join was supported by the four major old parties including the Social Democrats, but opposed by the socialist left as well as right-wing nationalists. While a majority of Danes supported the country’s entry into the EEC and continue to support participation in the contemporary EU, it is also the case that a strong strain of “Euro-skepticism” runs through Danish public opinion as is well-illustrated by the Danes’ referenda votes against Maastricht and the single currency.
Among the “four old parties,” European integration has represented a distinctive political risk to the Social Democrats. Insofar as European integration is founded on the liberal ideological concepts of free movement of people, goods, and capital, it may be seen to be consistent with the world-view of the bourgeois parties and the interests of their presumed constituencies. By contrast, the European labor and social democratic movements have had a highly ambiguous relationship to the process of European integration. On the one hand, the European project resonates with left-wing ideals and themes such as peace and internationalism. On the other hand, it also may be seen to serve primarily the interests of European capital and work to undermine the relatively high standards of labor fights and standards of economic democracy that have been achieved by Scandinavian societies. Embracing European integration in practice then may force nominally social democratic governments to embrace neo-liberal policies in order to attain fiscal and monetary policy harmonization. (85)
The Danish Social Democrats are, in effect, afraid of the EU. In 1998, the Social Democratic government called elections early in order to minimize the impact of an upcoming referendum on the EU on the national electoral campaign. As the Danish European parliamentary election results indicate, the Social Democratic vote is notably depressed when voters have the option of voting for anti-EU lists of candidates. In other words, while the Social Democratic leadership embraces the European integration process there are clear signs of ambivalence and even outright opposition among the rank and file. In the past, the Socialist People’s party has been the beneficiary of this situation, gaining electoral support from the Euro-skeptics among the ranks of erstwhile Social Democratic voters. (86)
After the Danish rejection of the Maastricht Treaty, the previously anti-EU Socialist People’s party played the crucial role in working out a national compromise. This compromise allowed the Danish government to take up negotiations with the EU that permitted Denmark to maintain certain national reservations regarding its participation in the EU, including the right to opt out of the single currency system. The British have a similar agreement; thus far both countries along with Sweden have stayed outside the twelve-country Euro-zone. While the Socialist People’s party was able to play an influential role in this process, its decision to do so divided the party internally and arguably robbed it of an electoral advantage. (87) The Danish People’s party has stepped into this vacuum as the parliamentary voice of anti-EU opinion.
In the 1999 Danish election for the European parliament, the Danish People’s party participated in no electoral pact. By contrast, the Socialist People’s party, despite its decision to shift from an anti-EU position to a mediating role on this issue, entered into an alliance with an anti-EU list. As these political patterns and alliances suggest, the Danish People’s party anti-EU position has strong appeal among traditionally left-wing constituencies and voters. Perhaps then it should not be too much of a surprise that the Danish People’s party, whose leader once insisted that the Progress party’s support was based on its anti-tax message rather than Glistrup’s racist rhetoric, should now change its tune. (89)
In order to better appeal to a broad constituency, the Danish People’s party program echoes the redistribution politics of the Social Democrats, “social policy should reduce the differences between a population’s economic and social living conditions. This could come about as a consequence of the market not securing a fair allocation to all.” (90) As Francis Castles points out, the success of Scandinavian social democracy is to be measured not only by economic measures of equality and welfare provision but by the extent to which a “social democratic image” of society has taken root in the political culture of this region. This implies that despite the decline of the Social Democratic party, underlying public support for the welfare state, the hallmark of Danish Social Democratic achievement, remains well in place. (91) A Politiken editorial published after the election agreed with Castles’ assessment, asserting that Liberal leader Anders Fogh Rasmussen “masquerades” as a protector of the social safety net despite his previously published advocacy of a “minimal state” rather than a “social state.” (92)
The new Liberal-Conservative government has come to power not on the basis of a broad popular mandate to decrease the role of the Danish state in the people’s lives, nor is the Liberal party’s affections for European integration enthusiastically shared by the population at large. The voters would almost surely appreciate a reduction of the tax burden, as would Danish business. Yet in order to maintain the Danish kroner’s stability in relation to the euro, it is economically risky for the government to adopt sharp tax reductions.
While the nationalist Right is increasing its presence in Denmark’s electoral politics, it is far from becoming a leading force in government. It is the market-oriented political forces that emerged victorious in Denmark’s 2001 election, paralleling developments elsewhere in Europe. The result may well be a government that weakens the state’s role as protector of social welfare while increasing its surveillance and security components, especially in relation to ethnic minorities. Although a Thatcheresque net-liberalism with authoritarian aspects is likely to be unsustainable in Danish electoral politics, the Danish party system has taken a new direction.
Table 1: Results of the 2001 election (10)
Party of Vote seats
Liberal 31.3 56
Social Democratic 29.1 52
Danish People’s 12.0 22
Conservative 9.1 16
Socialist People’s 6.4 12
Radicals 5.2 9
Unity List (Red-Green) 2.4 4
Christian People’s 2.3 4
Table 2: Percentage Share of Vote for Anti-Immigrant Parties
in West European Parliamentary Elections
Country/ Austria/ Netherlands/ Norway/ Norway/ Belgium/
Party: Freedom Pim Progress National Flemish
Party Fortuyn List Party Front Bloc
1995 21.9 7.8
1997 15.3 14.9
1999 26.9 9.9
2002 17.0 11.1
Table 3: Denmark’s Social Democratic Plurality, 1970-2001 (77)
Year Social Largest Second largest Social
Democratic “Bourgeois” party’s vote % Democratic
vote % party plurality,
1971 37.3 Conservative 16.7 +20.6
1973 25.6 Progress 15.9 +9.7
1975 29.9 Liberal 23.3 +6.6
1977 37.0 Progress 14.6 +22.4
1979 38.3 Liberal, 12.5 +25.8
1981 32.9 Conservative 14.5 +18.4
1984 31.6 Conservative 23.4 +8.2
1987 29.3 Conservative 20.8 +8.5
1988 29.8 Conservative 19.3 +10.5
1990 37.4 Conservative 16.0 +21.4
1994 34.6 Liberal 23.3 +11.3
1998 35.9 Liberal 24.0 +11.9
2001 29.1 Liberal 31.3 -2.2
Table 4: Support Levels for Left Parties, 1971-2001 (80)
Year Social Socialist Other Combined Left
Democratic People’s party parliamentary^ parties vote
vote (A) vote (B) Left parties’ (B + C)
1971 37.3 9.1 — 9.1
1973 25.6 6.0 3.6 9.6
1975 29.9 5.0 6.3 11.3
1977 37.0 3.9 6.4 10.3
1979 38.3 5.9 3.7 9.6
1981 32.9 11.3 2.6 13.9
1984 31.6 11.5 2.7 14.2
1987 29.3 14.6 2.7 17.3
1988 29.8 13.0 — 13.0
1990 37.4 8.3 — 8.3
1994 34.6 7.3 3.1 10.4
1998 35.9 7.5 2.7 10.2
2001 29.1 6.4 2.4 8.8
Table 5: Levels of Support for the Right, 1971-2001 (82)
Year Liberal Conservative Combined Progress People’s
1971 15.6 16.7 32.3
1973 12.3 9.2 21.5 15.9
1975 23.3 5.5 28.8 13.6
1977 12.0 8.5 20.5 14.6
1979 12.5 12.5 25.0 11.0
1981 11.3 14.5 25.8 8.9
1984 12.1 23.4 35.5 3.6
1987 10.5 20.8 31.3 4.8
1988 11.8 19.3 31.1 9.0
1990 15.8 16.0 31.8 6.4
1994 23.3 15.0 38.3 6.4
1998 24.0 8.9 32.9 2.4 7.4
2001 31.3 9.1 40.4 0.6 12.0
Table 6: 1999 Danish European Parliament Election Results (88)
Party/List vote seats won
Liberals 23% 5
Social Democrats 17% 3
June Movement 16% 3
Conservatives 9% 1
Radicals 9% 1
People’s Movement Against EU 7% 1
Socialist People’s 7% 1
People’s 6% 1
Center Democrats 4%
Christian People’s 2%
(1) The seminal work on electoral patterns and voting cleavages influenced strongly by the Scandinavian experience is Seymour Martin Lipset and Stein Rokkan, eds., Party Systems and Voter Alignments: Cross-National Perspectives (New York: Free Press, 1967). See also Sten Berglund and U1f Lindstrom, The Scandinavian Party System(s) (Lund: Studentlitteratur, 1978).
(2) Erin S. Einhorn, “Continuity and Change in the Scandinavian Party Systems,” in Parties and Party Systems in Liberal Democracies, ed. Steven Wolinetz (London: Routledge, 1988), 159-202. For historical background on the rise of social democracy in the region, see Sheri Berman, The Social Democratic Movement (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1998), and Gosta Esping-Andersen, Politics Against Markets: The Social Democratic Road to Power (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1985).
(3) Robin Bidwell, ed., Bidwell’s Guide to Government Ministers, Volume I (Portland, OR: Frank Cass, 1973). For more recent governments and election results, see “Political Leaders: Denmark,” http://www.terra.es/personal2/monolith/denmark/htm, 1.
(4) For discussion on earthquake elections, see Ole Borre, “Critical Electoral Change in Scandinavia,” in Electoral Changes in Advanced Industrial Democracies: Realignment or Dealignment? eds. R. J. Dalton, et al. (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1984), 330-64. Borre may be described as the leading electoral analyst in Danish political science (Statskundskab). See his Voelgerskreddet, 1971-1973 (Arhus University offset, 1974).
(5) For a thorough account of twentieth century Danish electoral politics through the 1994 elections, see Kenneth E. Miller, Friends and Rivals: Coalition Politics in Denmark, 1901-1995 (Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 1996).
(6) For further discussion of coalition patterns and rules of formation in Danish and Scandinavian parliamentary systems, see Erik Allardt, et al., Nordic Democracy (Copenhagen: Det danske Selskab, 1981); Arend Lijphat, Democracies (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1984); Albert P. Blaustein and G.H. Flanz, eds., Constitutions of the Countries of the World (Dobbs Ferry, NY: Oceana, 1971).
(7) On contrasting roles between cabinet parties and parties that support (but do not win) Danish governments, see Morgens S. Pedersen, “The Danish ‘Working Multiparty System’: Breakdown or Adaptation?” in Party Systems in Denmark, Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and Belgium, ed. Hans Daalder (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1987), 1-60.
(8) For comparative analyses on neo-liberal policy turns, see Andrew Glyn, ed., Social Democracy in Neo-Liberal Times (New York: Oxford University Press, 2001).
(9) “Danish Right Turn,” Maclean’s, December 3, 2001, 14.
(10) Elections of the World, “Denmark” http://www.electionworld.org/denmark.htm, 1.
(11) For a view of the Danish parties within the broader European context, see Michael Gallagher, Michael Laver, and Peter Mair, Representative Government in Modern Europe (Boston: McGraw-Hill, 2001), chapter 8.
(12) Eric S. Einhorn and John Logue, Modern Welfare States: Scandinavian Politics and Policy in the Global Age (London: Praeger, 2003) provides an up-to-date analysis of the policy option for the current government within the context of an established and entrenched welfare system. See also Niels Ploug and Jon Kvist, Welfare, Development, and Security: Three Danish Essays (Copenhagen: Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 1995).
(13) See Walter Galenson, “Current Problems of Scandinaivian Trade Unionism,” in Scandinavia at the Polls, ed. Karl Cerny (Washington, D.C.: American Enterprise Institute, 1986), 267-96.
(14) The advanced development of the Scandinavian welfare states fundamentally reshapes class formations and thus the cost vs. benefit relationship of different social groups to the state. See Walter Korpi, The Working Class in Welfare Capitalism: Work, Union, and Politics in Sweden (London: Routledge, Keagan Paul, 1978).
(15) On “corporatism” and business-labor interest group intermediation, see Lars Johansen and Ole Kristensen, “Corporatist Traits in Denmark,” in Patterns of Corporatist Policy-Making, eds., Gerhard Lembruch and P. Schmitter (London: Sage, 1982), 189-218.
(16) Danish People’s Party, “Party Program,” http://www.danskefolkparti.dk, 1. On Scandinavian “Euro-skepticism,” see Christine Ingebritsen, The Nordic States and European Unity (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1998). On EU-welfare state relations, see Mark Kleinman, A European Welfare State? (New York: Palgrave, 2002).
(17) Conservative Party, “Party Program,” http://www.konservative.dk, 1.
(18) John Logue, Socialism and Abundance (Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 1982) is an important work on the Danish Left.
(19) Radical Party, “Party Program,” http://www.radikale.dk, 1.
(20) Red/Green Unity List, “Party Program,” http://www.enhedslisten.dk, 1.
(21) Christian People’s Party, “Party Program,” http://www.krf.dk, 1-2.
(22) Center Democrat Party, “Party Program,” http://www.Centrumdemokratern.dk, 1.
(23) Niels Helveg Petersen, Kenneth Meyer, and Villy Sorensen, Revolt from the Center (London: Marions Boyars, 1981).
(24) Elections of the World, “Denmark,” http://www.electionworld.org/denmark.htm, 1.
(25) Miller, Friends and Rivals, 3.
(26) Lennart Jorberg and Ollie Krantz, “Scandinavia,” in The Fontana Economic History of Europe, ed. C.M. Cipolla (London: Collins/Fontana, 1976), 337-459.
(27) Uffe Ostergard, “From National Catastrophe to National Compromise, 1864-1993,” Scandinavian Journal of Development Alternatives 12:4 (October 1993):51.
(28) Niels Finn Christiansen, “Denmark: End of an Idyll?” in Mapping the West European Left, eds., Perry Anderson and Patrick Camiller (London: Verso Press, 1994), 81.
(29) Stein Kuhnle, “The Growth of Social Insurance Programs in Scandinavia: Outside Influences and Internal Forces,” in The Development of Welfare States in Europe and America, eds. Peter Flora and Arnold J. Heidenheimer (New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Press, 1981), 125-50.
(30) See Eric S. Einhorn, National Security and Domestic Politics in Post-War Denmark (Odense: Odense University Press, 1975) for Cold War period. See also David Gress, “The Nordic Countries,” in European Politics in the Age of Globalization, ed. Howard Wiarda (Forth Worth, TX: Harcourt College, 2001), 218-302.
(31) See, for example, Miller, Friends and Rivals.
(33) W. Glyn Jones, Denmark (New York: Praeger Publishers, 1970), 219.
(34) David Arter, Scandinavian Politics Today (Manchester, UK: Manchester University Press, 1999), 5.
(35) Statistics Denmark, “2001 Statistical Yearbook,” http://www.dst.dk/yearbook, 2-3.
(36) Christiansen, “Denmark: End of an Idyll?” 92.
(37) Paul Pierson, ed., The New Politics of the Welfare State (New York: Oxford University Press, 2001). See also Gunnar Heckscher, The Welfare State and Beyond: Success and Problems in Scandinavia (Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 1984).
(38) Jonathan Schwartz, “Letter to a Danish Historian,” Den Jyske Historiker 33 (Summer 1985):123-24.
(39) Immigration Ministry, “Paa vej mod en ny integrationpolitik” (“Towards a New Integration Policy”) http://www.inm.dk, March 5, 2002, 1.
(41) Miller, Friends and Rivals, xii.
(42) For 1998 election results, see http://www.ifes.org/eguide/resultsum/denmarkres2.htm, 1. See also Magnus Hermansson, “The Danish People’s Party,” http://www.journalism.fcji.hvu.nl/europe/kvdno.html, 1.
(43) “Election 2001: Immigration Dominates,” Copenhagen Post, November 9, 2001, http://cphpost.dk, 1.
(44) “Election articles,” Copenhagen Post, November 14-28, 2001, http://www.cphpost.dk, 1.
(46) “Notat om hovedtraek af indholdet af lov nr. 365 af 6 juni 2002 om aendring af unslaendingeloven og aegteskabsloven med flere love” (“A Report on the Effect of Law #365 Concerning Immigration”), http://www.inm.dk. July 24, 2002, 1.
(50) Rebecca K. Engmann, “An Expensive Election: International Critique May Hurt Economy,” Copenhagen Post, November 28, 2001, http://www.cphpost.dk, 1.
(52) Danish People’s Party, “Party Program: Denmark For Danes,” http://www.danskefolkeparti.dk, 1.
(53) Hans-Georg Betz, Radical Right-Wing Populism in Western Europe (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1994), 151.
(54) Torben Iversen, “The Choices for Scandinavian Social Democracy in Comparative Perspective,” in Social Democracy in Neo-Liberal Times, ed. Glyn, 256.
(55) Miller, Friends and Rivals, 105-50.
(56) Betz, Radical Right-Wing Populism in Western Europe, 141.
(57) Ibid., 111.
(58) Miller, Friends and Rivals, 194.
(59) Ibid., 185-94.
(60) Ibid., 189.
(61) Ibid., 194.
(62) Betz, Radical Right-Wing Populism in Western Europe, 142.
(63) Ibid., 152.
(64) Ibid., 142.
(65) Danish People’s Party, “Party Program,” http://www.danskfolkeparti.dk, 1.
(67) William Downs, “Denmark’s Referendum on the Euro: The Mouse that Roared … Again,” West European Politics 24:1 (Winter 2001):222-26.
(68) For Nordic Cooperation as an (non-starter) alternative to European
integration, see Barbara Haskell, The Scandinavian Option: Opportunities and Opportunity Costs in Post-War Scandinavian Foreign Policies (Oslo: Universitetsforlaget, 1976), and Franz Wendt, “Nordic Cooperation,” in Nordic Democracy, eds., Allardt, et al., 653-76.
(69) This image is clearly presented in Christiansen, “Denmark: End of an Idyll?” 81.
(70) See Betz, Radical Right-Wing Populism in Western Europe, 152.
(71) Ronald Inglehart, Culture Shift in Advanced Industrial Society (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1990), 262-82.
(72) “Valg 2001” (“Vote 2001”), Politiken, http://www.politiken.dk, 1.
(73) Betz, Radical Right-Wing Populism in Western Europe, 152.
(74) Statistics Denmark, “Statistical Yearbook, 2001,” http://www.dst.dk/yearbook, 2-3.
(75) “Far Right Gains as Nation Opts for Change,” Copenhagen Post, November 23, 2001, http://www.cphpost.dk, 1.
(77) Arter, Scandinavian Politics Today, 113. #In 1979, the Liberals and Conservatives received the same percentage of the vote, rounded to the nearest tenth of a percentage point.
(78) Miller, Friends and Rivals, 246.
(80) Arter, Scandinavian Politics Today, 113. ^ Does not include vote for parties that fell below two percent minimum.
(81) On realignment to the Right, see Ivor Crowe and David Denver, eds., Electoral Change in Western Democracies: Patterns and Sources of Electoral Volatility (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1985). Also note Giovanni Sartori, Parties and Party Systems (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1976), an important work on the dynamics of electoral shift.
(82) Arter, Scandinavian Politics Today, 113.
(83) Miller, Friends and Rivals, 231.
(84) Ibid., 238.
(85) Gerassimos Moschanos, In the Name of Social Democracy (London: Verso, 2002), 168.
(86) Hans-Anders Randskov, Press Secretary of the Radical Party, interview by author, March 18, 2003, transcript, possession of author.
(87) Christiansen, “Denmark: End of an Idyll?” 99.
(88) In the 1999 European Parliament elections, the following pacts were in place: Social Democrats/Radicals; Conservatives/Liberals; Center Democrats/Christian People’s; Socialist People’s/People’s Movement Against EU.
(89) Miller, Friends and Rivals, 194; David Trads, “Dansk Folkepartis Logne” (“The Danish People’s Party’s Lies”), Politiken, November 17, 2001, http://www.politiken.dk, 1.
(90) Danish People’s Party, “Party Program,” http://www.danskfolkeparti.dk, 1.
(91) Robert Henry Cox, “The Consequences of Welfare Retrenchment in Denmark,” Politics and Society 25:3 (September 1997):303-26 suggests that the Conservative-led “bourgeois” governments of the 1980s have already shook the legitimacy within Danish society of a generous and universalistic welfare state, perhaps setting the stage for further movement to the Right. It is a salient argument which even many on the Danish Left would acknowledge to be partially true, although it is still the case that Conservative welfare cuts eventually helped undo the party’s strength and Fogh Rasmussen’s shift away from free-market libertarianism has helped facilitate the Liberal’s ascendancy. Francis Castles, The Social Democratic Image of Society: A Study of the Achievements and Origins of Scandinavian Social Democracy in Comparative Perspective (London: Routledge, Kegan, and Paul, 1978).
(92) Gregers Friisberg, “Politik som Maskerade” (“Political Masquerade”), Politiken, January 14, 2002, http://www.politiken.dk, 1.
DANIEL SKIDMORE-HESS is an Associate Professor of Political Science at Armstrong Atlantic State University in Savannah, Georgia.
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