Mar 122012
 

Colleagues/friends Matt Goodwin and Jocelyn Evans have created quite a stir with their report on the attitudes of BNP and UKIP supporters/voters. Obviously, UKIP is not happy at all about being lumped together with what remains of Nick Griffin’s party. Being introduced as a ‘polite alternative’ to the BNP (albeit with a rhetorical question mark) does not help, either. Today, Matt responds to their critics over at the Guardian’s ever more popular Comment is free section.

Whether UKIP likes it or not, this is fascinating stuff (for us aficionados). That their respondents predominantly young, male, undereducated and deeply worried about Muslims/immigrants hardly comes as a surprise. But there are some real innovations in this paper.

  • First, the N is huge (you need yougov or a very solid skull to interview ~2000 right-wingers). The sheer number of interviews makes it possible to differentiate between members, identifiers, supporters, and voters, something that is not normally possible.
  • Second, comparing BNP and UKIP supporters on the basis of a large sample makes a lot of substantive sense, whether UKIP likes it or not.
  • Third, Goodwin/Evans cleverly included items tapping into attitudes towards politically motivated violence in their survey. This allows them to connect existing research on voters with the sparse literature on militant activists.
 Whats the difference between BNP/UKIP voters?
Sep 042011
 

Do you remember the book launch scene from the first Bridget Jones movie (I do – the shame, the shame), when she talks about “the greatest book of our time”? I was reminded of that scene when I recently attended a reception at the fringe of ECPR 2011 to mark the launch of the the all-new, IPSA-approved Encyclopedia of Political Science. The food was lousy, the audience was illustrious (well, by PolSci standards, perhaps), and the speeches just that tiny bit overenthusiastic (someone even mentioned Diderot). The only thing missing was the 45 pounds (referring to weight, not value, mind you!) tome itself, the mother of all political science  encyclopedias. Apparently, transport was too expensive, and so we got the Vice President of Sage instead. An USB stick with an ebook copy for the attendants would have been nice, though.

What earned me the invitation was that I have written a tiny contribution to the book so many years ago that I had forgotten about it. So here, for your edification, are my two cents on radical attitudes.

Apr 262009
 

Here is the (almost) finalised program for the our section on the Radical Right in Perspective, organised under the auspices of the ECPR’s 5th General Conference (Potsdam, September 10-12), boasting about 50 papers.

  • Post-Soviet Russian Nationalism: Ideology, Context, Comparison
    • The ‘New Political Novel’ by Right-Wing Writers in Post-Soviet Russia
    • Ethnic Conflict and Radical Right in Estonia: An Explosive Mixture?
    • How far is Moscow Weimar? Similarities and Dissimilarities between Inter-War Germany and Post-Soviet Russia
    • From Communist Totalitarianism to Right-wing Radicalism: The Dynamics of the Crimean Peripheral Politics and Its Impact on the Ukrainian State
    • Moderating/Mediating the Extreme: The Accommodation of Xenophobic Nationalist Views on Vladimir Pozner’s Vremena Programme
    • Right-wing extremism among immigrant adolescents from the FSU in Israel and Germany
  • The causes for the success and failure of the radical right in Central and Eastern Europe
    • Are there opportunity structures for the Radical Right? A comparative analysis of the Visegrad Group countries.
    • Explaining the failure of radical right parties in Estonia
    • Manoeuvring for the Right: Atypical Features of a Bulgarian Radical Right-Wing Party
    • The Diffusion of Radical Right Ideology in Central-Eastern Europe: Cultural Resonance and Issue Ownership Strategies as Factors Behind Electoral Support Takeover
    • The Radical Right in Bulgaria
    • From Alienation of the Working Class to the Rise of the Far Right? Party Strategy and Cleavage Evolution in Post-Communist Societies
  • On the Borderline Between Protest and Violence: Political Movements of the New Radical Right
    • Radical Right and the Use of Political Violence: Idealist Hearths in Turkey in the 1970s.
    • Extreme Right and Populism: a Frame Analysis of Extreme Right Wing Discourses in Italy and Germany
    • “Armed spontaneism”: an independent revolutionary way in the Italian extreme right-wing groups
    • Movement Against Illegal Immigration: analysis of the central node in the Russian extreme-right movement network
    • Mobilizing Activism: A comparative analysis of the contemporary Right-Wing Extremists and Islamists in Germany
    • Why There has been Little Violence among East European Radicals? Transformations of Tolerance in Post-peasant Eastern Europe
  • Consequences of the surge of anti-immigration parties
    • Anti-immigrant party support and newspaper coverage: a cross-national and over-time perspective
    • A Populist Zeitgeist? Populist Discourse among Mainstream Political Parties in Western Europe
    • The Surge of the Swiss Peoples Party: Implications at Switzerland’s Subnational Level
    • Immigration policy and the populist radical right in office: The policy impact of the FPÖ/BZÖ, 2000-06
    • Rhetoric or reality? Platforms and actions of anti-immigration parties
  • The Radical Right in Western Europe
    • A Matter of Timing? The Salience of Immigration and the Dynamics of Radical Right Electoral Success
    • Old Cleavages and New Actors in the Formation of a New Cultural Divide: Why a Right-Wing Populist Party Emerged in France but not in Germany
    • The Programmatic Positions of Established Parties and their Influence on Extreme Right Parties Vote Share
    • The Influence of the Programs of Far Right Parties on the Electoral System
    • Radical Right, Populism and the Fear of Democracy
    • Explaining anti-immigrant party support in Western Europe: individual grievances, elite failure or social context?
    • Comparing radical right party ideology and the voters’ profile and attitudes: a study on the Danish People’s Party, the Northern League and the Austrian Freedom Party
  • Inside the Radical Right: An Internalist Perspective
    • The Public Image of Leaders of Right-Wing Populist Parties: the Role of the Mass Media
    • ‘This rally is a must’ – Which factors lead neo-Nazis to take part in demonstration marches?
    • Right-wing extremist groups and Internet: Construction of Identity, Source of Mobilization and Organization
    • “Enemy from inside” the party and … inside us? What the researcher does to the local teams of the radical right in France: return to a possible controversial relationship
    • Pan-German student fraternities and the Austrian Freedom Party: A reciprocal relationship
  • Party-based Euroscepticism in Western and Eastern Europe
    • europeanization of euroscepticism? the significance of european parliament groups and factions for the typology and ideological classification of party-based euroscepticism
    • euroscepticism of turkish political parties
    • hellenes-barbarians and european civilization: a conceptual approach to the ideologies of the greek far right.
    • hungary – between euroenthusiasm and euroscepticsm
    • radical right euroscepticism and the theory of strategic choice
  • neighbourhood effects revisited: the visualisation of immigrants and radical right-wing vote
    • Presence of Migrants and Radical Right Support across Different Levels of National Institutionalisation
    • Exploring the Contextual Determinants of the anti-immigrant vote: The Case of the LPF
    • Explaining the extreme right resurgence in English local elections 2002-8: a spatial model of aggregate data
    • Ethnic Identity of Second Generation Immigrants across German Regions
    • Radical right’s neighbourhoods: considering meso level explanations for its success through a case-study at the local level
    • Is Local Diversity Harmful for Social Capital? A Multilevel Research on Flemish Data
    • Immigration, diversity and civic culture in Spain
  • The radical right and the debate over immigration policy
    • After Fortuyn: new radical right-wing populist parties in the Netherlands
    • Plataforma per Catalunya: emergence, features and quest for legitimacy of a new radical right party in the Spanish autonomous region of Catalonia
    • The impact of anti-immigration parties: a comparison between the Flemish VB and the Walloon FN
    • The (de)politicization of immigrant integration and policy outcome in Belgium.

The program is still somewhat in flux, and any omissions are accidental.

Jan 202009
 

Does religion make you a better or worse human being? More specifically, does Christian religiosity reduce or increase the likelihood of a radical/extreme right vote in a West European context? This is the question Liz and I are trying to address in our latest paper on “Christian Religiosity and Voting for West European Radical Right Parties“.

There are a number of reasons why good Christians could be more likely to vote for the Right than agnostics: American research starting in the 1940s has linked high levels of church attendance and a closed belief systems to support for rightism. More over, contemporary Radical Right parties try to frame the issue of immigration in terms of a struggle between Christian/Western values and Islam.

On the other hand, many of the most radical parties (e.g. the Austrian FPÖ) have anti-clerical roots. Moreover, the Churches give support and shelter to refugees/immigrants in many countries, and some pro-immigrant movements are inspired by Christian values. Finally, religious voters are often firmly tied to Christian-Democratic parties and will therefore not be available for the Radical Right.

We develop a theoretical model that incorporates these mechanisms and use Structural Equation Modelling to test this model in eight countries: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Italy, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and Norway. As it turns out, religious people do not differ from their more agnostic compatriots in terms of their attitudes towards immigrants. They are, however, less likely to vote for the radical right because they often identify with Christian Democratic/Conservative parties. The final version of the paper will appear in West European Politics.

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Mar 162008
 

Last year, the British Journal of Politics and International Relations published an article which essentially argued that higher levels of welfare state spending create attitudes which are conducive to higher turnout. I was not convinced and so I wrote a comment/replication in which I demonstrate that there is no robust evidence for a universal, politically relevant relationship between
inequality/welfare state spending, and turnout
(HTML). The journal has recently accepted the article for publication later in 2008, but for the time being, the manuscript is available here (PDF). I have also set up an archive with replication data for this paper.

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