From open borders to ‘rasisit’: libertarianism and populism on the Scandinavian periphery (1980–1994)
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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- Scientific articles 
Original versionJournal of Political Ideologies. 2023, 373-391. 10.1080/13569317.2023.2249647
In 1980s Norway, a group committed to libertarian ideology became influential within Fremskrittspartiet. This new party became known for its opposition not only to taxation and public spending, but also to non-western immigration. The libertarians within the same party, however, advocated open borders. The libertarians were ousted from the party in 1994, but libertarianism has remained a key plank in the party’s otherwise national-conservative ideology. Crossovers and alliances between cosmopolitan libertarians and nationalistic anti-immigration groups have become commonplace, and through an analysis of the Norwegian libertarian movement, I argue that these are possible due to the idea of open borders only holding a peripheral position within libertarian ideology. The issue of open borders was given some attention in debates between libertarians and populists within FrP, but was not an important ideological concept for the intellectuals behind the libertarian journal Ideer om Frihet. The article thus argues that a commitment to what we may call cosmopolitanism does exist within libertarianism and may be used to make sense of core concepts such as individualism, freedom and markets, but is nonetheless expendable for most libertarians, as they were for the Norwegian libertarians who found a home in the country’s most nativist political party.