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By Edward Hallett Carr

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To do so, the study relies on evidence from elite interviews, press reports, and secondary sources. 3 presents a list of the eight periods identified and highlights the issues that were contested during each period. Throughout each of these periods, national identity issues became heavily politicized by mainstream parties and the media covered them for an extended period of time. 3 Periods of Intense Partisan Competition over National Identity Country Issue(s) Period Austria Austrian complicity in Nazi crimes (Reder and Waldheim affairs) Immigration/“Austria First” Asylum Policy Die Wende Asylum Policy Citizenship/Immigration law “Greekness” of Macedonia Orthodoxy and National Identification Cards 1985–1988 Germany Greece 1989–1993 1979–1980 1982–1989 1991–1993 1998–2002 1991–1995 2000–2002 40 The Media and the Far Right in Western Europe pundits alike.

In other words, the appeals of Far Right parties might be more important after their initial breakthrough (Schain et al. 2002: 6), while those of mainstream parties might be more significant beforehand. The differentiation among various phases of party development has consequences not only for the relative importance ascribed to political agents but also for the analysis of their tactical choices. Once Far Right parties pass the threshold of relevance, they change Introduction 17 the competitive environment and, consequently, the range of options available to mainstream parties.

18. 28 The Media and the Far Right in Western Europe issues put historical memory on the political agenda by highlighting Austrian complicity in the Holocaust. Again, the debates over Reder and Waldheim preceded the electoral breakthroughs of the Austrian Far Right. What this cursory glance at the empirical record indicates is that mainstream politicians purposefully entered national identity issues into the political mainstream. Contrary to the conventional wisdom, this book suggests that in many cases it was major parties, not the Far Right, that played the nationalist card by radicalizing political competition along national identity lines.

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