In this thesis the main research question is whether or not the Norwegian Progress Party is part of the Populist Radical Right (PRR) party family. In his influential book, Cas Mudde omitted the Progress Party on the basis of a lack of radicalism in the party`s core ideology. Therefore, whether or not the party is radical, whether or nativism and authoritarianism are part of the Progress Party`s core ideology, is the focus in this study.
After presenting a variety of previous literature on the party, the theoretical review and the analytical framework for empirical analysis is developed. To a large extent, this build on Mudde`s work.
The data material include party programs (election manifestos) and principle programs for the periods of 1993-1997, 2001-2005 and 2009-2013, as well as a report on immigration and integration from 2007. By conducting a qualitative content analysis, this study shows how the party`s ideology has developed over time, and in recent years moved away from some of its liberal heritage and become more nativist and authoritarian. The picture painted is one of stability, but yet change and gradual adaptation and development. The main conclusion to the research question is that today, based on the framework built on Mudde`s definitions of and elaborations on the core concepts, the Progress Party should be considered a Populist Radical Right party.
To problematize this, the neoliberalism of the Progress Party is described, based on former literature and observations from the data material. The importance and centrality of some neoliberalist components still present in Progress Party thought, leads the discussion onto the concept of “core ideology”, and its use and measurement. Both nativism and neoliberalism seem to hold a central place in the Progress Party`s ideology, and be constitutive of many of its expressions. After this follows some reflections questions as to whether the subdivisions and subfamilies of the far right are too many. No conclusions on this can or will be offered, it is rather meant to raise a debate.