This paper analyzes if and how the Sweden Democrats (the SD), the Danish People’s Party (the DPP) and the Progress Party (the PP) in Norway use myths of national exclusiveness and myths about the common man to radicalize popularly held sentiments to attract votes and gain political credibility in political space. The specific contribution is that we consider national myths to be a relevant political opportunity structure in the political competition of the votes. We conclude that both the SD and the DPP make use of national myths to gain credibility in the political space, in order to sustain populist mobilization in these countries. However, this is not the case with the PP in Norway. One possible explanation is that already before the PP emerged, other political parties in Norway, such as the Center Party, occupied the niche of national myths in the electoral market. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Previous versions of this paper have been presented at the Nordic Political Science Association (NOPSA) conference in Vaasa (August 2011), the Danish Institute for International Studies (Diis) seminar in Copenhagen (April 2012), the Association for the study of nationalities (ASN) conference in New York (April 2012), the Department of Political Science in Oslo (May 2011), the International Migration, Integration and Social cohesion (IMISCOE) conference in Amsterdam (August 2012), and the Italian Political Science Society (SISP) conference in Rome (September 2012). The authors are very grateful for all the valuable comments that stem from these sessions.
Keywords: Political Parties; populism; social movements; political contention