In politics, hard-line is an adjective describing a stance on an issue that is inflexible and not subject to compromise. A hardliner is a person holding such views. [1][2][3] The stance is usually far from the centrist view.[4] People, policies, and laws can be considered hard-line.[5][6][7] A hardliner may be either a reactionary or a revolutionary. Synonyms for hardliner include diehard, hawk, extremist, fanatic, or zealot.

Examples by country


The French government has taken a hard-line stance against terrorism.[8] France removed restrictions on raiding houses of suspected terrorists, although only five cases have been brought to court while over four thousand searches were conducted.[8] Critics say the approach unfairly blames the Muslim community for radical extremists.[9]


Ebrahim Raisi, a Shi'ite cleric and prominent politician, ran as a hard-line challenger to President Rouhani in 2017 and was Rouhani's main challenger.[10] He ran primarily on economic reforms and increasing distance with the West.[11]


After increased sanctions by Western countries, a poll from 2016 recorded that fifty-nine percent of Russians did not want their government to change its behavior.[12] The respondents felt that either Westerns wanted to harm Russia, hold it to standards they did not live up to, or were simply ignorant of Russian reasoning for actions.

United Kingdom

Brexit is a hard-line position on relations with the European Union.[13][14] The United Kingdoms voted to leave the European Union to preserve its sovereignty, which was dubbed Brexit. After the vote, the two top searches on Google about the European Union were the implications of leaving the European Union and what "EU" (short for European Union) meant.[15]

United States

One of the more common issues that uses hard-line or hardliner as a description is illegal immigration. For example, the United States House of Representatives had two bills in June 2018 about immigration to consider: the hard-line and centrist options.[16] The House failed to pass the centrist bill.[17] The House did not vote on the more extreme bill.

Words implying hard-line stances


A hawk is someone who prefers an extreme or aggressive stance, typically on war.[18] When referring to war, a hawk is always in favor of war. The opposite is a dove, who prefers peace. However, the term hawk can also be used for other issues, like the deficit. John McCain, the American senator and 2008 presidential nominee was a [war] hawk because of his policies on the Middle East.[19] A current example of a hawk is John R. Bolton, who is the national security advisor for President Trump as of October 12, 2018.[20]

See also


  1. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hard-line
  2. http://www.oed.com/view/Entry/423370?redirectedFrom=hard+line#eid
  3. "the definition of hard-liner". www.dictionary.com. Retrieved 2018-09-12.
  4. https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/hard-line
  5. "House Rejects Hard-Line Immigration Bill and Delays Vote on Compromise". Retrieved 2018-09-12.
  6. http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/ny-news-trump-brett-kavanaugh-supreme-court-20180709-story.html
  7. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2018/08/28/irans-hard-line-former-president-has-reemerged-twitter-hes-tweeting-about-serena-lebron/
  8. Baux, Victoria. "Backlash: France's New Hard Line Against Terrorism". Al Jazeera. Al Jazeera. Retrieved 12 September 2018.
  9. "Struggling to prevent terrorist attacks, France wants to 'reform' Islam". Washington Post. Retrieved 2018-09-12.
  10. Mellen, Ruby. "Rouhani Gets a Hard-line Challenger for Iranian Presidency". Foreign Policy. Retrieved 2018-10-13.
  11. "Iranians vote in presidential election". www.aljazeera.com. Retrieved 2018-10-13.
  12. "3 in 5 Russians Believe Western Criticism 'Should Be Ignored'". Retrieved 2018-10-13.
  13. "Sturgeon: May must 'face down' Brexiteers". BBC News. 2018-07-05. Retrieved 2018-09-26.
  14. Stewart, Heather; Sabbagh, Dan (2018-07-16). "Theresa May caves in to hardline Brexiters' demands". the Guardian. Retrieved 2018-09-26.
  15. "EU referendum". Google Trends. Retrieved 2018-09-26.
  16. http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/06/21/conservative-immigration-bill-fails-in-house-gop-leaders-delay-vote-on-compromise-measure.html
  17. "House overwhelmingly rejects compromise immigration bill despite Trump support". NBC News. Retrieved 2018-09-12.
  18. "Definition of HAWK". www.merriam-webster.com. Retrieved 2018-10-13.
  19. "John McCain: Hero at home, hawk in Middle East". www.aljazeera.com. Retrieved 2018-10-13.
  20. Shapiro, Walter (2018-03-23). "John Bolton is a hawk itching for war – and few are there to stop him | Walter Shapiro". the Guardian. Retrieved 2018-10-13.
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