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Article

Religion, Populism and Politics: The Notion of Religion in Election Manifestos of Populist and Nationalist Parties in Germany and The Netherlands

1
Faculty of Religion and Theology, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, 1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2
Department of the Centre for Church and Mission in the West, Theological University, 8261 GS Kampen, The Netherlands
3
Faculty of Theology, University of Helsinki, 00014 Helsinki, Finland
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Jocelyne Cesari
Religions 2021, 12(3), 178; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12030178
Received: 30 January 2021 / Revised: 27 February 2021 / Accepted: 4 March 2021 / Published: 9 March 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion, Nationalism and Populism across the North/South Divide)
This article is about the way that the notion of religion is understood and used in election manifestos of populist and nationalist right-wing political parties in Germany and the Netherlands between 2002 and 2021. In order to pursue such enquiry, a discourse on the nature of manifestos of political parties in general and election manifestos specifically is required. Election manifestos are important socio-scientific and historical sources. The central question that this article poses is how the notion of religion is included in the election manifestos of three Dutch (LPF, PVV, and FvD) and one German (AfD) populist and nationalist parties, and what this inclusion reveals about the connection between religion and populist parties. Religious keywords in the election manifestos of said political parties are researched and discussed. It leads to the conclusion that the notion of religion is not central to these political parties, unless it is framed as a stand against Islam. Therefore, these parties defend the Jewish-Christian-humanistic nature of the country encompassing the separation of ‘church’ or faith community and state, the care for the historical and cultural heritage of church buildings, and the subordination of the freedom of religion to the freedom of expression. The election manifestos also reveal that Buddhism and Hinduism are absent in the discourses of these political parties. View Full-Text
Keywords: election manifestos; religion; populist and nationalist political parties; Germany; The Netherlands election manifestos; religion; populist and nationalist political parties; Germany; The Netherlands
MDPI and ACS Style

van den Broeke, L.; Kunter, K. Religion, Populism and Politics: The Notion of Religion in Election Manifestos of Populist and Nationalist Parties in Germany and The Netherlands. Religions 2021, 12, 178. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12030178

AMA Style

van den Broeke L, Kunter K. Religion, Populism and Politics: The Notion of Religion in Election Manifestos of Populist and Nationalist Parties in Germany and The Netherlands. Religions. 2021; 12(3):178. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12030178

Chicago/Turabian Style

van den Broeke, Leon, and Katharina Kunter. 2021. "Religion, Populism and Politics: The Notion of Religion in Election Manifestos of Populist and Nationalist Parties in Germany and The Netherlands" Religions 12, no. 3: 178. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12030178

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