Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

Liam Anderson (Advisor)

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


In the decades following WWII, countries across the globe witnessed the rise of anti-system parties. Political scientists have attributed their success to economic conditions, electoral systems, party systems and the electorate’s disaffection with mainstream parties. The analysis also suggests the influence of global factors. While the causes for success have been examined, effective policy choices for democracies have not been equally explored. This study makes the argument that by including anti-system parties in government, states are able to lessen the threat they pose to democracy. The analysis of India’s Bharatiya Janata Party and Austria’s Freedom party suggest that anti-system parties loose their allure when they come to power. Also, democracies by adopting the contrary policy of exclusion, in fact create conditions that foster support for anti-system parties. Lastly, this study suggests that the international community in response to anti-system parties in power should adopt a policy of cautious engagement.

Page Count


Department or Program

Department of Political Science

Year Degree Awarded