New Right


The word "New Right" appeared during the 1964 presidential campaign of Barry Goldwater to designate "the emergence, in response to liberalism (in the American sense of the term [i.e. social liberalism]), of an uninhibited right: ultraconservative, imbued with religious values, openly populist, anti-egalitarian, and intolerant of racial desegregation." Popularized by Richard Viguerie, the term became later used to describe a broader movement in the English-speaking world: socially conservative proponents of the night-watchman state, such as Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, or New Zealand First. However, as Jean-Yves Camus and Nicolas Lebourg point out, this leaning had only a few in common with the "European New Right" that had been emerging since the 1960s, more inspired by the conservative revolutionary Moeller van den Bruck than by the classical liberal Adam Smith.[2]

New Right by country


In Australia, "the New Right" refers to a late 1970s/1980s onward movement both within and outside of the Liberal/National Coalition which advocates economically liberal and increased socially conservative policies (as opposed to the "old right" which advocated economically conservative policies and "small-l liberals" with more socially liberal views).[3] Unlike the United Kingdom and United States, but like neighbouring New Zealand, the 1980s saw the Australian Labor Party initiate Third Way economic reforms, which bear some familiarity to "New Right" ideology. After the John Howard Coalition ended the 13-year rule of the Hawke-Keating Labor government at the 1996 federal election, economic reforms were taken further, some examples being wholesale labor market deregulation (e.g. WorkChoices), the introduction of a Goods and Services Tax (GST), the privatisation of the telecommunications monopoly Telstra, and sweeping welfare reform including "work for the dole". The H. R. Nicholls Society, a think tank which advocates full workplace deregulation, contains some Liberal MPs as members and is seen to be of the New Right.[4]

Economic liberalism is also called economic rationalism in Australia. The term"economic rationalism" was first used by Labor's Gough Whitlam.[5] to describe a market-oriented form of social democracy, but its meaning subsequently evolved. It is a philosophy which tends to advocate a free market economy, increased deregulation, privatisation, lower direct taxation and higher indirect taxation, and a reduction of the size of the welfare state. The politicians favouring New Right ideology were referred to as "dries", while those advocating continuation of the economic policies of the post-war consensus, typically Keynesian economics, or were more socially liberal, were called "wets" (the term "wets" was similarly used in Britain to refer to those Conservatives who opposed Thatcherite economic policies, but "dries" in this context was much rarer in British usage).[6]


The new right in Brazil has grown sharply in recent years within population, intelligentsia and academia. That is mainly due to a generalized discontent with the current left-wing government and its policies.[7]

This new movement distinguishes itself from what is known in Brazil as "old right", which was ideologically associated to the Brazilian military government, União Democrática Nacional (National Democratic Union) and Integralism.[8] It is identified by positive views regarding democracy, personal freedom, free-market capitalism, reduction of bureaucracy, privatization of state-run companies, tax cuts, parliamentary, political reform. It rejects "cultural Marxism", Socialism of the 21st century and Populism.[9]

There have been two major phenomena relating to the rise of the new Brazilian right: the Free Brazil Movement, which has managed to bring together millions of people on demonstrations against the government in March 2015;[10] and the creation of the New Party (Partido Novo) and Libertários, the first liberal party since the First Brazilian Republic.[11]

Some Brazilian new-right thinkers are: Kim Kataguiri, and his movement Movimento Brasil Livre (Free Brazil Moviment), Roberto Campos,[12] Wilson Martins,[13][14] Olavo de Carvalho,[15] Luiz Felipe Pondé,[16] Paulo Francis,[17] José Guilherme Merquior,[15] Bruno Tolentino[15] and Miguel Reale.[15]

As a result of this movement, in the 2018's Brazilian election, Jair Messias Bolsonaro was elected President of Brazil with 55% of the votes, his right hand in economic subjects, Paulo Guedes, graduated from the University of Chicago, will be his Economy Minister.


The term New Right (Spanish: Nueva derecha) has come into mainstream political discourse since the election of Sebastián Piñera in 2010, when interior minister Rodrigo Hinzpeter used it to describe his government. Hinzpeter's introduction of the term caused a buzz among newspapers, politicians and analysts. According to a column published in The Clinic, the New Right is different from the old dictatorial right of Augusto Pinochet, in the sense that it embraces democracy. It is also different from the religiously conservative Unión Demócrata Independiente party, in that it is more open to discussing issues like divorce. According to the same analysis, the New Right is becoming increasingly pragmatic, as shown by their decision to increase taxes following the 2010 Chilean earthquake.[18]


In France, the New Right (or Nouvelle Droite) has been used as a term to describe a modern think-tank of French political philosophers and intellectuals led by Alain de Benoist. Another noted intellectual, who was once part of Alain de Benoist's GRECE, is Guillaume Faye. Although accused by some critics as being "far-right" in their beliefs, they themselves claim that their ideas transcend the traditional left–right divide and actively encourages free debate. France also has one Identitarian New Right group (which is connected with Thule Seminar in Germany); that is Terre et Peuple of Pierre Vial, who was once an integral part and founding member of Alain de Benoist's GRECE.[19]


In Germany, the Neue Rechte (literally, new right) consists of two parts: the Jungkonservative (literally, young conservatives), who search for followers in the civic part of the population; and, secondly, the "Nationalrevolutionäre" (national revolutionists), who are looking for followers in the ultra-right part of the German population, and use the rhetoric of right-wing politicians such as Gregor and Otto Strasser. Another noted New Right group in Germany is Thule Seminar of Pierre Krebs.[20][19]


Failos Kranidiotis, a Greek politician who had been expelled by New Democracy chairman Kyriakos Mitsotakis for expressing views more similar to political rival Golden Dawn than those of former Prime Minister of Greece Konstantinos Mitsotakis whose legacy expressed the most important principle of its recently elected leadership, including Adonis Georgiadis who had been a member only since leaving far-right Popular Orthodox Rally in 2012, instead of those expressed by the previous heads of the party who had close friendships with him, specifically Kostas Karamanlis, Antonis Samaras and Vangelis Meimarakis, founded the New Right party based on national liberalism in May 2016.[21]


New Right is a right-wing political party in Israel, founded in 2018 and led by Ayelet Shaked and Naftali Bennett. The party aims to be a party open to both secular and religious people. The party advocates the preservation of a strong right-wing in Israel.


The New Right (NR) was the name of a far-right/nationalist political party in the Netherlands from 2003 to 2007. The Party for Freedom (PVV), founded in 2005 and led by Geert Wilders, also is a New Right movement.[22] Since March 2017 Forum voor Democratie is another new right party in the Dutch parliament.

New Zealand

In New Zealand, as in Australia, it was the Labour Party that initially adopted "New Right" economic policies. "Rogernomics" involved monetarist approaches to controlling inflation, corporatisation of government departments, and the removal of tariffs and subsidies, while the party also pursued social liberal stances such as decriminalisation of male homosexuality, pay equity for women and adopting a nuclear-free policy. This meant temporary realignment within New Zealand politics, as "New Right" middle-class voters voted Labour at the 1987 New Zealand general election in approval of its economic policies. At first, Labour corporatised many former government departments and state assets, then emulated the Conservative Thatcher administration and privatised them altogether during Labour's second term of office. However, recession and privatisation together led to increasing strains within the Labour Party, which led to schism, and the exit of Jim Anderton and his NewLabour Party, which later formed part of the Alliance Party with the Greens and other opponents of New Right economics.[23]

However, dissent and schism were not to be limited to the Labour Party and Alliance Party alone. During the Labour Party's second term in office, the Opposition New Zealand National Party (popularly known as 'National') selected Ruth Richardson as Opposition finance spokesperson, and when National won the 1990 general election, Richardson became Minister of Finance, while Jenny Shipley became Minister of Social Welfare. Richardson introduced deunionisation legislation, known as the Employment Contracts Act, in 1991, while Shipley presided over social welfare benefit cuts, designed to reduce "welfare dependency" – both core New Right policy initiatives.

In the early nineties, maverick National Party MP Winston Peters also came to oppose New Right economic policies, and led his elderly voting bloc out of the National Party. As a result, his New Zealand First anti-monetarist party has been a partner in coalition governments led by both National (1996–98) and Labour (2005–08 and 2017-ongoing). Due to the introduction of the MMP electoral system, a New Right "Association of Consumers and Taxpayers" party, known as ACT New Zealand, was formed by ex-Labour New Right-aligned Cabinet Ministers like Richard Prebble and others, and maintaining existing New Right policy initiatives such as the Employment Contracts Act, while also introducing US-style "welfare reform." ACT New Zealand aspired to become National's centre-right coalition partner, but has been hampered by lack of party unity and populist leadership that often lacked strategic direction.

As for Labour and National themselves, their fortunes have been mixed. Labour was out of office for most of the nineties, only regaining power when Helen Clark led it to victory and a Labour/Alliance coalition and centre-left government (1999–2002). However, the Alliance disintegrated in 2002. National was defeated in 1999 due to the absence of a suitable stable coalition partner, given New Zealand First's partial disintegration after Winston Peters abandoned the prior National-led coalition. When Bill English became leader of National in 2001, it was thought that he might lead the party away from its prior hardline New Right economic and social policies, but his indecisiveness and lack of firm policy direction led to ACT New Zealand gaining the New Right middle-class voting basis in 2002. When Don Brash became leader, New Right middle-class voters returned to National's fold, causing National's revival in fortunes at the 2005 New Zealand general election. However, at the same time, ACT New Zealand strongly criticised it for deviating from its former New Right economic policy perspectives, and at the same election, National did little to enable ACT's survival. Don Brash resigned as National party leader, being replaced by John Key, who was a more moderate National MP.

As for the centre-left, Helen Clark and her Labour-led coalition were criticised by ex-Alliance members and non-government organisations for their alleged lack of attention to centre-left social policies, while trade union membership recovered due to Labour's repeal of the Employment Contracts Act 1991 and labour market deregulation and the deunionisation that had accompanied it in the nineties. It is plausible that Clark and her Cabinet were influenced by Tony Blair and his British Labour Government, which pursued a similar balancing act between social and fiscal responsibility while in government.[24]


In Poland, a conservative libertarian[25][26][27][28] and eurosceptic political party Congress of the New Right (New Right) was founded on 25 March 2011 from former political parties Freedom and Lawfulness (WiP) and Real Politics Union (UPR) by Janusz Korwin-Mikke. It is backed up by various voters, some conservatives, people who want to legalize marijuana and citizens who endorse free market and capitalism.

South Korea

In South Korea, the South Korean New Right movement is a Korean attempt at neoconservative politics. The Lee Myung-bak government led by President Lee Myung-bak and the conservative Grand National Party is noted for being a benefactor of the domestic New Right movement.[29]

United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom, the term New Right more specifically refers to a strand of Conservatism that the likes of Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan influenced. Thatcher's style of New Right ideology, known as Thatcherism, was heavily influenced by the work of Friedrich Hayek (in particular the book The Road to Serfdom). They were ideologically committed to economic liberalism as well as being socially conservative. Key policies included: deregulation of business, a dismantling of the welfare state, privatisation of state-owned industries and restructuring of the national workforce in order to increase industrial and economic flexibility in an increasingly global market.[30]

United States

In the United States, New Right refers to three historically distinct conservative political movements.[31]:624–25 These American New Rights are distinct from and opposed to the more moderate tradition of the so-called Rockefeller Republicans. The New Right also differs from the Old Right (1933–55) on issues concerning foreign policy with neoconservatives being opposed to the non-interventionism of the Old Right.[31]:625

First New Right

The first New Right (1955–64) was centered on the right-wing libertarians, traditionalists, and anti-communists at William F. Buckley's National Review.[31]:624 Sociologists and journalists had used new right since the 1950s; it was first used as self-identification in 1962 by the student activist group Young Americans for Freedom.[32]

The first New Right embraced what it called "fusionism" (an ostensible synthesis of classical liberal economics, traditional social values, and anti-communism)[31]:338–41 and coalesced in the years preceding the 1964 presidential campaign of Barry Goldwater. The Goldwater campaign, which failed to unseat incumbent President Lyndon B. Johnson, hastened the formation of a new political movement.

First New Right figures:

Second New Right

The second New Right (1964–2014) was formed in the wake of the Goldwater campaign and had a more populist tone than the first New Right. The second New Right tended to focus on emotional, wedge issues (such as abortion) and was often linked with the Religious Right.[33] The second New Right formed a policy approach and electoral apparatus that brought Ronald Reagan into the White House in the 1980 presidential election. The New Right was organized in the American Enterprise Institute and The Heritage Foundation to counter the so-called "liberal establishment". In elite think tanks and local community organizations alike, new policies, marketing strategies, and electoral strategies were crafted over the succeeding decades to promote strongly conservative policies.[34]

Second New Right figures:

Third New Right

Since 2014, the term 'New Right' has sometimes been used to describe a group of young conservatives, right-libertarians, classical liberals, national conservatives, paleoconservatives, and supporters of US President Donald Trump.[35][36][37][38][39][40]

Third New Right figures:


  1. Hanley, Sean (2007). The New Right in the New Europe: Czech Transformation and Right-wing Politics, 1989–2006.
  2. Camus, Jean-Yves; Lebourg, Nicolas (20 March 2017). Far-Right Politics in Europe. Harvard University Press. p. 122. ISBN 9780674971530.
  3. Verity Archer, "Dole bludgers, tax payers and the New Right: Constructing discourses of welfare in 1970s Australia." Labour History 96 (2009): 177–190.
  4. Marian Sawer, Australia and the new right (Sydney: G. Allen & Unwin, 1982).
  5. "John Quiggin – Journal Articles 1997 – Economic rationalism".
  6. Hugh Collins, "Political ideology in Australia: the distinctiveness of a Benthamite society." Daedalus (1985): 147–169. online
  7. Saad-Filho, Alfredo; Boito, Armando (2016). Panitch, Leo; Albo, Greg (eds.). "Brazil: The Failure of the PT and the Rise of the 'New Right". Socialist Register: 213–30. Retrieved 31 August 2016.
  8. "Manifesto de 7 de Outubro de 1932" (in Portuguese). Retrieved 23 October 2016.
  9. "Liberais, Libertários e conservadores, uni-vos" (in Portuguese). Retrieved 23 October 2016.
  10. Saad-Filho, Alfredo; Boito, Armando (2016). Panitch, Leo; Albo, Greg (eds.). Brazil: The Failure of the PT and the Rise of the 'New Right. Socialist Register. p. 225. ISBN 9781583675755. Retrieved 31 August 2016. The upper middle class provides the mass base of the new right, for example, through the Free Brazil Movement (Movimento Brasil Livre), MBL, one of the groups leading the demonstrations.
  12. "Biografia" (in Portuguese). Retrieved 23 October 2016.
  13. "A certeza da influência" (in Portuguese). Retrieved 7 January 2017.
  14. "Morre o crítico literário Wilson Martins" (in Portuguese). Retrieved 7 January 2017.
  15. "Um gênio conservador" (in Portuguese). Retrieved 23 October 2016.
  16. "Contra os comissionarios da ignorância" (in Portuguese). Retrieved 23 October 2016.
  17. De Sá, Nelson (2011). Dicionário da Corte (in Portuguese). p. 9. ISBN 978-8571645714. Retrieved 23 October 2016.
  18. Marcelo Pollack, New Right in Chile (Springer, 1999).
  19. Simon Bornschier, "Why a right-wing populist party emerged in France but not in Germany: cleavages and actors in the formation of a new cultural divide." European Political Science Review 4.1 (2012): 121–145. online
  20. Michael Minkenberg, "The new right in Germany: The transformation of conservatism and the extreme right." European Journal of Political Research 22.1 (1992): 55–81.
  21. Vasiliki Georgiadou, and Lamprini Rori. "Economic crisis, social and political impact. The new right-wing extremism in Greece." Anuari del Conflicte Social (2013). online
  22. Gerard Delanty; et al. (2008). Identity, Belonging and Migration. Oxford University Press. p. 262. ISBN 9781846314537.
  23. Michael Peters, and James Marshall. "Education, the new right and the crisis of the welfare state in New Zealand." Australian Journal of Education Studies 11.1 (1990): 77–90.
  24. Roger Dale, "National reform, economic crisis and ‘New Right’theory: A New Zealand perspective." Discourse 14.2 (1994): 17–29.
  25. "Leader of Poland's Euro-sceptic party believes: "Women should not have right to vote."". 7 April 2014. Retrieved 27 May 2014.
  26. Aleks Szczerbiak (23 May 2014). "EU election: Polish campaign dominated by Ukraine crisis". Retrieved 27 May 2014.
  27. Macdonald, Alastair (20 October 2014). "UKIP, 5-Star welcome Polish radical to save EU voting bloc". Reuters.
  28. "Polish MEP's racial slur sparks anger". The Japan Times. 17 July 2014.
  29. Yin-wah Chu; Siu-lun Wong (2010). East Asia's New Democracies: Deepening, Reversal, Non-liberal Alternatives. Routledge. p. 199. ISBN 9781136991097.
  30. S. Lee; M. Beech (2016). The Conservatives under David Cameron: Built to Last?. Palgrave Macmillan UK. pp. 23–24. ISBN 9780230237025.
  31. Frohnen, Bruce, Jeremy Beer, and Jeffrey O. Nelson (2006) American Conservatism: An Encyclopedia. ISI Books: Wilmington, DE.
  32. Viguerie, Richard. The New Right: We're Ready to Lead. 1981, Caroline House, p. 53
  33. Gottfried, Paul and Thomas Fleming (1988) The Conservative Movement. Twayne Publishers: Boston, pp. 77–95.
  34. Arin, Kubilay Yado: Think Tanks, the Brain Trusts of US Foreign Policy. Wiesbaden: VS Springer 2013.
  35. Moyer, Justin Wm; Stein, Perry (23 June 2017). "'Alt-right' and 'alt-lite'? Conservatives plan dueling conservative rallies Sunday in D.C." Washington Post.
  36. ""Alt-right" or "alt-lite"? New guide from ADL classifies right-wing activists". 19 July 2017.
  37. Ray Sanchez and Sarah Jorgensen. "Boston preps for rally touting free speech". CNN.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  38. Menegus, Bryan. "The Far-Right Alliance Is Over".
  39. Gray, Rosie (20 January 2017). "The 'Deploraball' Celebrated Trump—and Revealed Fissures Within the Alt-Right".
  40. Marantz, Andrew (6 July 2017). "The Alt-Right Branding War Has Torn the Movement in Two" via

Further reading

  • Andrews, Geoff; Cockett, Richard; Hooper, Alan; Williams, Michael (1999): New Left, New Right and Beyond. Taking the Sixties Seriously. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 9780333741474
  • Arin, Kubilay Yado (2013): Think Tanks, the Brain Trusts of US Foreign Policy. Wiesbaden: VS Springer .
  • Betz, Hans-George. (1993) "The new politics of resentment: radical right-wing populist parties in Western Europe." Comparative politics (1993): 413–427. online
  • Cunningham, Sean P. (2010). Cowboy Conservatism: Texas and the Rise of the Modern Right
  • Klatch, Rebecca E. (1999) A generation divided: The new left, the new right, and the 1960s (Univ of California Press, 1999).
  • Lyons, Paul. (1996) New left, new right, and the legacy of the sixties (Temple University Press, 1996).
  • Minkenberg, Michael. (1992) "The new right in Germany: The transformation of conservatism and the extreme right." European Journal of Political Research 22.1 (1992): 55–81.
  • Richards, David; Smith, Martin J. (2002). Governance and Public Policy in the UK. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 92–121.
  • Murray, Charles (1984). Losing Ground: American Social Policy, 1950–1980
  • Murray, Charles (1999). The Underclass Revisited
  • Richard A. Viguerie (1980). The New Right: We're Ready to Lead. Viguerie Company. ISBN 9780960481415.
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