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Photo:20170616 Folkemodet Dansk Folkeparti Kristian Thulesen Dahl_50A9644,” by News Oresund licensed under CC BY 2.0. The hue is modified from the original.

Nicolaisen, Mathias Holst. “From toleration to recognition: explaining change and stability in party responses to the Danish People’s Party.” Comparative European Politics (2023): 1-18.


The opposition from other Danish political parties toward the Danish People’s Party (DPP) predominantly takes the form of tolerant opposition. DPP is mostly treated as an ordinary political opponent, and the main governing parties in Denmark (the Social Democrats and Liberals) have adapted to the challenge by intensifying their co-optation and cooperation strategies, in effect recognizing their policies and rhetoric on immigration. Subsequently, opposition from the international community and civil society has increasingly conflated its critique of DPP with the ruling government. Using process-tracing methods sampling newspaper articles, the article sheds light on facilitating and constraining factors explaining variation in the timing and execution of strategies undertaken by the main governing parties. Analysis focuses on a period after DPP’s emergence (1997–2001) and a period involving extensive cooperation between DPP and other parties (2014–2019). I conclude that political collaborators, liberal democratic ideology and institutions, and civil society have been unable to constrain dominant factions within the parties which sought to respond to DPP success by addressing popular grievances and societal developments through co-optation and cooperation strategies.

The Illiberalism Studies Program studies the different faces of illiberal politics and thought in today’s world, taking into account the diversity of their cultural context, their intellectual genealogy, the sociology of their popular support, and their implications on the international scene.