Know anything about Norwegian politics?
Yeah, I didn’t either until a few weeks ago, when I decided to book a trip to Oslo ahead of Norway’s national elections on Monday. Compared with high-profile elections in France, Germany and the United Kingdom this year, Norway’s election ran very much under the radar (at least among English-language media). But considering my goal of understanding European populism writ large this year, I figured it was worth a trip up north.
While in Oslo, I sought to answer the following question: how does the right-wing populist Progress Party, led by Siv Jensen, compare to its counterparts further south in Europe? And is Scandinavian right-wing populism writ large different than the kind that’s getting so much attention in western and central Europe?
Ultimately, I found that the Progress Party—while it’s certainly sought to capitalize on the same anti-Islam, anti-immigration sentiment that have strengthened similar parties around the continent—bills itself as a much more moderate alternative, both in terms of its rhetoric and in the issues for which it advocates. The party has been in government with the Conservatives since 2013, and on Monday appeared to win another four years in a coalition government.
You can read my piece, which ran in The Atlantic, here.