Nov 192013

Interview mit der Deutschen Welle zur Einordnung der Dänischen Volkspartei und deren Rolle in einem möglichen Verbund europäischer Rechtsparteien.

denmark regions label Interview with Deutsche Welle on the Danish Peoples Party & the New Populist Alliance / CC BY-SA

Interview with Deutsche Welle on the Danish People’s Party and their potential role within an alliance of right-wing populist parties in Europe.

Oct 292012

Like social networks, multilevel data structures are everywhere once you start thinking about it. People live in neighbourhoods, neighbourhoods are nested in municipalities, which make up provinces – well, you get the picture. Even if we have no substantive interest in their effects, it often makes sense to control for structures in our data to get more realistic standard errors.

Now the good folks over at the European Social Survey have reacted and spent the Descartes Prize money on compiling multilevel information and merging them with their own data. So far, the selection is a little bit disappointing in some respects. Homicide rates, for instance, are reported on the national level only. But there are some pleasant surprises (I guess due to Eurostat, who collect such things): We get unemployment, GDP growth and even student numbers at the NUTS-3 level. Since you asked, NUTS is the Nomenclature of (subnational) Territory, and level 3 is the lowest level for which comparative data are normally published.

Regrettably, the size and number of level 3 units is not necessarily comparable across countries: For Germany, level 3 corresponds to about 400 local government districts, while France is divided into 96 European Departments. But if you need to combine top-notch survey data with small(ish) regional data, it’s a start, and not a bad one.

May 202012
Dec 212011

Like a premature Christmas present, my author’s copy of “The Extreme Right in Europe” arrived before the weekend. It’s a hefty volume of almost 500 pages that comes with a equally hefty price tag of just under 80 Euros. As you can see from the table of contents (the PDF also contains the introduction and a large chunk from Gilles Ivaldi’s chapter), it’s a bit of a mixed bag, but I like the idea of bringing together  contributions on Eastern and Western Europe and dealing with multiple facets of the right (parties, movements, voters, ‘culture’). While I’m particularly partial to the chapters by Ivaldi and de Lange, which are on matters close to my own research interests,  Heß-Meining’s piece on Right-Wing Esotericism stands out for the sheer weirdness of its subject: Hitler’s hideout in the Arctic and Al Gore the Vampire, you name it. So if you’re looking for a last-minute Christmas present for this XR-head stoner uncle of yours …  just kidding of course.

As an aside, it’s remarkable that this book was published in English. The volume as well as the conference on which it is based were sponsored by French and German institutions. A few years ago, that would have meant a bilingual conference and publication. Outside Luxembourg, what is the number of scholars working in the field who could have actively participated in the conference? And how much larger would have been the number of potential readers? Individually and collectively, French and German political science might still be too big to fail for the time being, but it’s good to see that we as a discipline chose relevance. Occasionally.

To celebrate this moment of pre-Christmas clarity, here’s the author’s version of my chapter Continue reading »

Aug 282009

In my pet model, the salience of issues such as immigration or national identiy in the manifestos of established parties

support salience 300x217 Is salience a cause or a consequence of radical right electoral support?

Random shock to salience - support cannot be bothered to react

makes a vote for the extreme right/radical right much more likely. There is, however, a potential problem with this argument: if radical right support is stable in the medium term, and if other parties react to past successes for the radical right by modifying their manifestos, this relationship might be spurious. In my paper for the ECPR conference at Potsdam, I use a time-series model  to address this problem: I estimate a Vector Auto Regression (VAR) of radical right support and issue salience in France (while controlling for immigration and unemployment). As it turns out, salience is independent of previous radical right success. This finding provides some support for my original argument, though the analysis  preliminary and restricted to France (at the moment).

 Is salience a cause or a consequence of radical right electoral support?
May 312009

Next week, the European Parliament will celebrate its 7th direct election. However, this will be the culmination of 27 national campaigns. Here is a post on the lack of truly European content in the European I wrote for Andrea Römmele’s and Thorsten Faas’ “Wahlen nach Zahlen” blog (in German).

May 282009

With the upcoming EP elections, I felt obliged to check out the profiler sites my colleagues have put on the internet. I started with Germany’s wahl-o-mat that has been around for a number of years. After evaluating 30 statements, the program decided that I should vote for the German Liberals, which was not such a big surprise. The Bavarian Christian Democrats and the New Left Party were the biggest distance away from my ideal point, not least because my preferences seem to be more pro-European than these parties.

profiler 1 300x183 Which party should I vote for in the European Elections?

Why I should vote for the LibDems (maybe)

Given that I’m going to vote in the UK, I next tried the EU Profiler, which is an international project that aims at providing the relevant information on party positions for all 27 member states. After evaluating a new set of another 30 items, I was presented with a fancy two-dimensional graph that shows that I should vote for the UK LibDems, although they look more like my least-bad option since the policy space around my ideal point is not exactly crowded. This is because I am luke-warm (but warm) when it comes to European Integration plus a bit of a lefty when it comes to the “socioeconomic” dimension. This dimension, however, looks a bit dodgy, because according to the map, the Tories would be ever so slightly to the left of Labour. Well, maybe they are. At least no one suggest that I should vote UKIP or BNP (who sent me a flyer the other week, suggesting that all those immigrants should leave the UK).

In a bold move I switched from British to German parties and was a little surprised to learn that I should vote New Left, which is reasonably close to my ideal point while the Liberals are rather far away. So it would seem that I suffer from a national-political personality split.

profiler 2 300x182 Which party should I vote for in the European Elections?

Should I vote for the Left party?!?

Still not content with the results, I returned to the wahl-o-mat and discovered that they too have teamed-up with researchers from other countries, meaning that we have apparently two competing pan-European profiler projects. So I answered a final UK-specific questionnaire and was reassured that I should indeed vote for the LibDems, though apparently for different reasons.

While their accuracy of the results might be debatable, these tools provide a lot of information and are great fun.

May 282008

extreme rechte small Finally: New book on the Extreme Right Vote in Western Europe, 1980 2002 It’s almost unbelievable: after some six months of communication problems with the publishers, my recent book on the extreme right vote in Western Europe since the 1980s is finally out and ready for you to order and read (qualification: if you read German). If you don’t read German, you might still be interested in a brief English summary of my findings on the Extreme Right vote, including various presentations and other goodies.