Kai Arzheimer

About

I am professor of Political Science at the University of Mainz.

My main research interests are all in the field of political behaviour, broadly defined, and the methods required for its study. Much of my work is focused on the Far/Extreme/Radical Right vote in Europe. More recently, I found religion (not really).

Contact

Recent & Forthcoming Publications

  • Arzheimer, Kai. “Im Osten nichts Neues? Die elektorale Unterstützung von AfD und Linkspartei in den alten und neuen Bundesländern bei der Bundestagswahl 2021.” Wahlen und Wähler – Analysen zur Bundestagwahl 2021. Eds. Schoen, Harald and Bernhard Weßels. Wiesbaden: Springer, 2024. 139-178. doi:10.1007/978-3-658-42694-1_6
    [BibTeX] [Download PDF] [HTML]
    @InCollection{arzheimer-2023c,
    author = {Arzheimer, Kai},
    title = {Im Osten nichts Neues? Die elektorale Unterstützung von AfD und
    Linkspartei in den alten und neuen Bundesländern bei der
    Bundestagswahl 2021},
    booktitle = {Wahlen und Wähler - Analysen zur Bundestagwahl 2021},
    publisher = {Springer},
    year = 2024,
    editor = {Schoen, Harald and Weßels, Bernhard},
    address = {Wiesbaden},
    url = {https://www.kai-arzheimer.com/bundestagswahl-2021-ostdeutschland-linkspartei-afd.pdf},
    html = {https://www.kai-arzheimer.com/bundestagswahl-2021-ostdeutschland-linkspartei-afd/},
    dateadded = {14-11-2022},
    doi = {10.1007/978-3-658-42694-1_6},
    pages = {139-178}
    }
  • Arzheimer, Kai. “The Links between Basic Human Values and Political Secularism. Evidence from Germany.” European Journal of Political Research 63.1 (2024): 370-382. doi:10.1111/1475-6765.12585
    [BibTeX] [Abstract] [HTML] [DATA]
    Scholarly interest in political secularism is currently growing. Political secularism is not the absence of religious belief, membership, or practice, but the conviction that politics and religion should be kept separate, and that religious arguments should have no standing in political debates. Little is known about the roots of this attitude, particularly outside the US. This is unfortunate, because politically secular attitudes strongly affect citizens’ views on so-called morality policies (e.g. the regulation of abortion, assisted suicide, or experiments with stem-cells) which are often highly controversial. In this research note, I focus on the link between political secularism and basic human values. From Schwartz’s own work and from the extant literatures on religion, secularism, and basic human values, I derive two hypotheses: self-direction should be linked to higher levels and tradition should be linked to lower levels of political secularism. Multivariate analysis of current survey data from Germany, a prototypical “religious-world country”, supports both hypotheses. Crucially, the relationships hold when controlling for three main facets of religion, for region (east vs west), and for socio-demographics. The results show that, net of their well-documented association with religion, basic human values contribute to our understanding of political secularism. More generally, the findings demonstrate once more the impact of basic human values on all areas of political life.
    @Article{arzheimer-2023d,
    author = {Arzheimer, Kai},
    title = {The Links between Basic Human Values and Political Secularism.
    Evidence from Germany},
    journal = {European Journal of Political Research},
    pages = {370-382},
    year = 2024,
    volume = {63},
    number = {1},
    abstract = {Scholarly interest in political secularism is currently growing.
    Political secularism is not the absence of religious belief,
    membership, or practice, but the conviction that politics and
    religion should be kept separate, and that religious arguments
    should have no standing in political debates. Little is known about
    the roots of this attitude, particularly outside the US. This is
    unfortunate, because politically secular attitudes strongly affect
    citizens' views on so-called morality policies (e.g. the regulation
    of abortion, assisted suicide, or experiments with stem-cells)
    which are often highly controversial. In this research note, I
    focus on the link between political secularism and basic human
    values. From Schwartz's own work and from the extant literatures on
    religion, secularism, and basic human values, I derive two
    hypotheses: self-direction should be linked to higher levels and
    tradition should be linked to lower levels of political secularism.
    Multivariate analysis of current survey data from Germany, a
    prototypical "religious-world country", supports both hypotheses.
    Crucially, the relationships hold when controlling for three main
    facets of religion, for region (east vs west), and for
    socio-demographics. The results show that, net of their
    well-documented association with religion, basic human values
    contribute to our understanding of political secularism. More
    generally, the findings demonstrate once more the impact of basic
    human values on all areas of political life.},
    data = {https://dataverse.harvard.edu/dataset.xhtml?persistentId=doi:10.7910/DVN/Z8VYBK},
    html = {https://ejpr.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/1475-6765.12585?af=R},
    pdf = {https://ejpr.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1111/1475-6765.12585},
    doi = {10.1111/1475-6765.12585},
    dateadded = {01-03-2023}
    }
  • Arzheimer, Kai and Theresa Bernemann. “‘Place’ Does Matter for Populist Radical Right Sentiment, but How? Evidence from Germany.” European Political Science Review 16.2 (2024): 167-186. doi:10.1017/S1755773923000279
    [BibTeX] [Abstract] [HTML]
    The notion of ‘place’ has become a central concern in research on the populist radical right (PRR), but scholars seem to have different things in mind when talking about how geography affects individual political attitudes. In our paper, we therefore aim to structure the debate on the impact of place and to understand exactly how place affects PRR attitudes (nativism, right-wing authoritarianism, and populism). Conceptually, we identify four potentially relevant aspects of ‘place’ that underpin much of the current literature: place-related attitudes (localism and resentment), place-specific living conditions, socio-demographic composition, and characteristics unique to a particular place, i.e., its local history and culture. We also discuss how these aspects are related and how they may interact. Empirically, we assess the relative importance of these four aspects of place for PRR sentiment in Germany, a country that is particularly well suited to this type of analysis. Using fine-grained geocoded survey data collected prior to the 2017 election, we find that (1) there is considerable spatial variation and clustering in PRR attitudes, (2) a place’s socio-demographic composition and (3) place resentment account for much of this, while (4) localism has weaker effects. We find (5) no relevant interaction between localism and place resentment, (6) no substantial evidence that mediation through place-related attitudes leads to an underestimation of the other aspects, and (7) no evidence for effects of the unique culture or history of the places we studied. Moreover, (8) location in the former GDR still has a substantial impact, whereas (9) other place-specific conditions (deprivation, demographic decline, migration, rurality) that could be addressed by policy interventions have no or rather weak effects. We conclude that PRR sentiment in ‘places that don’t matter’ results also, though by no means exclusively, from a lack of recognition.
    @Article{arzheimer-bernemann-2023,
    author = {Arzheimer, Kai and Bernemann, Theresa},
    title = {'Place' Does Matter for Populist Radical Right Sentiment, but How?
    Evidence from Germany},
    journal = {European Political Science Review},
    year = 2024,
    volume = {16},
    number = {2},
    pages = {167-186},
    abstract = {The notion of 'place' has become a central concern in research on
    the populist radical right (PRR), but scholars seem to have
    different things in mind when talking about how geography affects
    individual political attitudes. In our paper, we therefore aim to
    structure the debate on the impact of place and to understand
    exactly how place affects PRR attitudes (nativism, right-wing
    authoritarianism, and populism). Conceptually, we identify four
    potentially relevant aspects of 'place' that underpin much of the
    current literature: place-related attitudes (localism and
    resentment), place-specific living conditions, socio-demographic
    composition, and characteristics unique to a particular place,
    i.e., its local history and culture. We also discuss how these
    aspects are related and how they may interact. Empirically, we
    assess the relative importance of these four aspects of place for
    PRR sentiment in Germany, a country that is particularly well
    suited to this type of analysis. Using fine-grained geocoded survey
    data collected prior to the 2017 election, we find that (1) there
    is considerable spatial variation and clustering in PRR attitudes,
    (2) a place's socio-demographic composition and (3) place
    resentment account for much of this, while (4) localism has weaker
    effects. We find (5) no relevant interaction between localism and
    place resentment, (6) no substantial evidence that mediation
    through place-related attitudes leads to an underestimation of the
    other aspects, and (7) no evidence for effects of the unique
    culture or history of the places we studied. Moreover, (8) location
    in the former GDR still has a substantial impact, whereas (9) other
    place-specific conditions (deprivation, demographic decline,
    migration, rurality) that could be addressed by policy
    interventions have no or rather weak effects. We conclude that PRR
    sentiment in 'places that don't matter' results also, though by no
    means exclusively, from a lack of recognition.},
    html = {https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/european-political-science-review/article/place-does-matter-for-populist-radical-right-sentiment-but-how-evidence-from-germany/7C639AAC5F6B1BC2F6324F7D57136827},
    pdf = {https://www.cambridge.org/core/services/aop-cambridge-core/content/view/7C639AAC5F6B1BC2F6324F7D57136827/S1755773923000279a.pdf/place-does-matter-for-populist-radical-right-sentiment-but-how-evidence-from-germany.pdf},
    doi = {10.1017/S1755773923000279}
    }
  • Arzheimer, Kai. “Elektorat(e) rechter Flügelparteien.” Handbuch Rechtsextremismus. Eds. Häusler, Alexander, Cordelia Heß, Anke Hoffstad, and Florian Virchow. Wiesbaden: Springer VS, 2023. . doi:10.1007/978-3-658-38373-2_24-1
    [BibTeX] [Download PDF] [HTML]
    @InCollection{arzheimer-2023a,
    author = {Arzheimer, Kai},
    title = {Elektorat(e) rechter Flügelparteien},
    booktitle = {Handbuch Rechtsextremismus},
    publisher = {Springer VS},
    year = 2023,
    editor = {Häusler, Alexander and Heß, Cordelia and Hoffstad, Anke and
    Virchow, Florian},
    html = {https://www.kai-arzheimer.com/elektorat-rechte-parteien},
    doi = {10.1007/978-3-658-38373-2_24-1},
    url = {https://www.kai-arzheimer.com/waehler-rechter-parteien.pdf},
    address = {Wiesbaden},
    }
  • Arzheimer, Kai. “Quantitative Methoden zur Erforschung von rechtsextremistischem / rechtsradikalem / rechtspopulistischem Wahlverhalten.” Handbuch Rechtsextremismus. Eds. Häusler, Alexander, Cordelia Heß, Anke Hoffstad, and Florian Virchow. Wiesbaden: Springer VS, 2023. .
    [BibTeX] [Download PDF] [HTML]
    @InCollection{arzheimer-2023b,
    author = {Arzheimer, Kai},
    title = {Quantitative Methoden zur Erforschung von rechtsextremistischem /
    rechtsradikalem / rechtspopulistischem Wahlverhalten},
    booktitle = {Handbuch Rechtsextremismus},
    publisher = {Springer VS},
    year = 2023,
    editor = {Häusler, Alexander and Heß, Cordelia and Hoffstad, Anke and
    Virchow, Florian},
    address = {Wiesbaden},
    url = {https://www.kai-arzheimer.com/quantitative-methoden-rechtsradikal-wahlverhalten.pdf},
    html = {https://www.kai-arzheimer.com/quantitative-methoden-rechtsextremismus},
    }
  • Arzheimer, Kai. “To Russia with love? German populist actors’ positions vis-a-vis the Kremlin.” The Impacts of the Russian Invasion of Ukraine on Right-Wing Populism in Europe. Eds. Ivaldi, Gilles and Emilia Zankina. Brussels: European Center for Populism Studies (ECPS), 2023. 156-167. doi:10.55271/rp0020
    [BibTeX] [Abstract]
    Russia’s fresh attack on Ukraine and its many international and national repercussions have helped to revive the fortunes of Germany’s main radical right-wing populist party ‘Alternative for Germany’ (AfD). Worries about traditional industries, energy prices, Germany’s involvement in the war and hundreds of thousands of refugees arriving in Germany seem to have contributed to a modest rise in the polls after a long period of stagnation. However, the situation is more complicated for the AfD than it would appear at first glance. While many party leaders and the rank-and-file have long held sympathies for Putin and more generally for Russia, support for Ukraine is still strong amongst the German public, even if there is some disagreement about the right means and the acceptable costs. At least some AfD voters are appalled by the levels of Russian violence against civilians, and the party’s electorate is divided as to the right course of action. To complicate matters, like on many other issues, there is a gap in opinion between Germany’s formerly communist federal states in the East and the western half of the country. As a result, the AfD leadership needs to tread carefully or risk alienating party members and voters in the more populous western states. Beyond the AfD, the current and future consequences of the war have galvanised the larger far-right movement, particularly in the East. Moreover, they have led to further tensions in the left-wing populist “Linke” (left) party, which is traditionally pacifist and highly sceptical of NATO. The majority of the party tries to square commitment to these principles with solidarity with the victims of Russian aggression. A small but very visible faction, however, shows at least a degree of support for Russia and blames NATO and the US for the war.
    @InCollection{arzheimer-2023e,
    author = {Arzheimer, Kai},
    title = {To Russia with love? German populist actors' positions vis-a-vis
    the Kremlin},
    booktitle = {The Impacts of the Russian Invasion of Ukraine on Right-Wing
    Populism in Europe},
    publisher = {European Center for Populism Studies (ECPS)},
    year = 2023,
    editor = {Ivaldi, Gilles and Zankina, Emilia},
    pages = {156-167},
    address = {Brussels},
    abstract = {Russia's fresh attack on Ukraine and its many international and
    national repercussions have helped to revive the fortunes of
    Germany's main radical right-wing populist party 'Alternative for
    Germany' (AfD). Worries about traditional industries, energy
    prices, Germany's involvement in the war and hundreds of thousands
    of refugees arriving in Germany seem to have contributed to a
    modest rise in the polls after a long period of stagnation.
    However, the situation is more complicated for the AfD than it
    would appear at first glance. While many party leaders and the
    rank-and-file have long held sympathies for Putin and more
    generally for Russia, support for Ukraine is still strong amongst
    the German public, even if there is some disagreement about the
    right means and the acceptable costs. At least some AfD voters are
    appalled by the levels of Russian violence against civilians, and
    the party's electorate is divided as to the right course of action.
    To complicate matters, like on many other issues, there is a gap in
    opinion between Germany's formerly communist federal states in the
    East and the western half of the country. As a result, the AfD
    leadership needs to tread carefully or risk alienating party
    members and voters in the more populous western states. Beyond the
    AfD, the current and future consequences of the war have galvanised
    the larger far-right movement, particularly in the East. Moreover,
    they have led to further tensions in the left-wing populist "Linke"
    (left) party, which is traditionally pacifist and highly sceptical
    of NATO. The majority of the party tries to square commitment to
    these principles with solidarity with the victims of Russian
    aggression. A small but very visible faction, however, shows at
    least a degree of support for Russia and blames NATO and the US for
    the war.},
    doi = {10.55271/rp0020}
    }

Click here for my full list of publications.

Consultancy

  • Media: I regularly comment on German and European parties and their voters, and on political extremism. 
  • Research Methods: I have been teaching methods, statistics and software in academic settings since 1996 and offer consultancy and in-house seminars. 

Latest

  • 4 2024 EU election links, and one to soften the blow

    This week, the Internet is full of interesting stuff about the 2024 European elections, which were sort of momentous. Here are four links I liked, and one that helped me to cope.

  • A final look at AfD support before the 2024 European parliamentary elections

    With just two days to go, this is my last look at AfD support in the polls before the 2024 EP elections.

  • The Moral Economy of the Shire

    The old Internet was full of stuff like this: people giving a lot of thought to the earnest analysis of entirely fictional worlds. We should bring that culture back. Related posts: Brexit : What I learned from watching BBC News for 48 hours straight Child Care Facilities at 2013 ECPR Joint Sessions Six More Links…