Mar 232019
 
7 funding scandals involving alternative for Germany

What is the matter with Alternative for Germany’s finances?

Just in time for the upcoming European elections, new details on Alternative for Germany’s donation scandals emerge. Yes, scandals is in the plural, and the wailing sound in the background is the of “fake news!” from the party’s faithful. So what is the matter?

The AfD loves to talk about the “Altparteien” (the old parties, i.e. the establishment, the spent forces etc.). This is in itself a nice show of political mimicry: “Altparteien” is what the Greens used to call the trinity of Social Democrats, Christian Democrats, and Liberals, when they rose as a radical alternative to politics as usual in the 1990s.

Money and the AfD

Follow the money

In the 1980s and 1990s, the latter two parties executed bypassing rules on party financing to near-perfection. As a reaction to this, rules for transparency have been somewhat tightened, and more importantly, enforcement has become a bit stricter.

Now the “Alternative” has taken a whole bunch of leaves from the old parties’ playbook. For your edification and because I’m losing track, here is a list of the top-seven financial scandals in which the party is currently involved.

7 financial scandals in which Alternative for Germany is currently involved

  1. Alice Weidel, the co-leader of the AfD’s parliamentary group in the Bundestag, is under investigation for receiving 150,000 Euros in 18 neat tranches from a company in Switzerland, which would be illegal under German law. Extraordinarily, the company claims that they merely provided a facade for illegal cash flows originating in Germany. As you do. Both Swiss and German authorities are on the case.
  2. Under a similar scheme, the AfD state party in North Rhine-Westphalia has received about 50,000 Euros from a dubious Dutch foundation. The party claims that they have returned the money later but failed to inform the authorities within the prescribed time-frame.
  3. There is another Swiss connection, involving co-leader and Spitzenkandidat for the EP election Jörg Meuthen. Back in 2016, “Goal”, a Swiss agency, has provided advertisements, flyers, design, and whatnot worth a cool 90,000 Euros. Meuthen claims that he only gave permission to use his likeness and was in no way part of the advertising campaign, which was paid for by 10 benefactors. In other words: no collusion.
  4. Last year, Meuthen finally presented a list of the alleged benefactors. This week, at least two of these benefactors have now come out claiming that they did not give any money but rather accepted a 1,000 Euro bribe for their name to appear on the official record.
  5. The AfD’s number two for the EP election, Guido Reil, also benefitted from services provided by “Goal” worth 50,000 Euros. The prosecution service has opened an investigation this week. Bummer.
  6. Then there is the long-running story of an obscure “association for the rule of law and the protection of civil liberties”, which has spent millions on advertising for the “Alternative” but claims to be independent of the party. If co-ordination between the organisation can be proven, the AfD would be fined heavily. It goes without saying that the association is also connected to “Goal”.
  7. Finally, it has emerged that Alexander Gauland is being investigated over his tax returns. While there is no Swiss connection and while this is primarily a private, not a party matter, it nicely caps of the list.

It is not easy running a law & order party. Especially the “law” part seems to be very tricky. Stay tuned.

Mar 162019
 

Germany’s carnival is supposed to be funny and political. Usually it is neither. But sometimes, there is a glimpse.

Mocked at Mainz

This is a picture I took at the Rosenmontagszug in Mainz, a major parade that attracts hundreds of thousands of revellers. The front of the float shows a pretty realistic AfD election poster (I did not get my phone out in time to take a snap). This is the float’s backside. The sign reads “it’s difficult to conceal”.

Dissed at Düsseldorf

And here is another gem from Düsseldorf: AfD Hardliner Höcke as Göbbel’s baby.

Mar 142019
 
dogs in a libray: bibliography update March 2019

What’s new in the bibliography?

It’s that time of the year again. Once more, I have updated the Erratic Extreme/Far/Radical/Populist Right Bibliography. After the book-chapter heavy winter update, we are back to normal: the spring update brings four books, two chapters, and 45 journal articles. Most of these were published in 2018, but some are almost two decades old. Please keep pointing out relevant publications to me.

Far right bibliography: publication years of new additions

Publication years of the new additions to the bibliography

Who has written all the new stuff?

Far right bibliography update: authors

You know what they say about pictures and words. I thought I should give the new-ish wordcloud2 package a spin. Here is the result. Before you get too envious (or too haughty), please remember that scale is proportional to the number of publications, not the word count, and that additions to the bibliography happen on a non-systematic and utterly eccentric basis: if I come across something that interests me, it gets in, whether it is your very first article or your whole back catalogue.

The Far Right Bibliography: Spring 2019 Update

What is this new far right research about?

I stuffed the titles and (where I had them) abstracts into a dataset, forgot some obvious stop words (among? much? however?) and tried some lemmatisation (with mixed success). “Party”, “populist/populism”, and “radical” come out tops. Unsurprisingly, “immigration” is also prominent. But I find some of the smaller words more interesting. “Leave” is certainly a nod to Brexit. “Nord” is considerably smaller than “Lega”, reflecting the nationalisation (or at least the aspiration) of the former regionalists. “Unemployment” is certainly smaller than it would have been a decade or two ago. So is “extreme”. If you are interested in the fine print, click on the image for a larger, high-resolution version.

Far right bibliography March 2019 update: topics

Topics of the new additions to the Extreme/Far/Populist/Radical Right bibliography

Follow the robot

If you care about Extreme/Far/Populist/Radical Right research and if you are on Twitter, consider following the Radical Right Research Robot for random updates, serendipitous insights, and the occasional awkward pun.

I’m your friend

So: what titles exactly?

Here is the update, in all its glory:

Ackermann, Kathrin, Eros Zampieri, and Markus Freitag. 2018. “Personality and Voting for a Right-Wing Populist Party – Evidence from Switzerland.” Swiss Political Science Review 24 (4): 545–64. doi:10.1111/spsr.12330.

Albertazzi, Daniele. 2006a. “‘Back to Our Roots’ or Self-Confessed Manipulation? The Uses of the Past in the Lega Nord’s Positing of Padania.” National Identities 8 (1): 21–39. doi:10.1080/14608940600571222.

———. 2006b. “The Lega Dei Ticinesi. the Embodiment of Populism.” Politics 26 (2): 133–39. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9256.2006.00260.x.

———. 2016. “Going, Going, …Not Quite Gone yet? ‘Bossi’s Lega’ and the Survival of the Mass Party.” Contemporary Italian Politics 8 (2): 115–30. doi:10.1080/23248823.2016.1193349.

Albertazzi, Daniele, and Duncan McDonnell. 2005. “The Lega Nord in the Second Berlusconi Government: In a League of Its Own.” West European Politics 28 (5): 952–72. doi:10.1080/01402380500310600.

Albertazzi, Daniele, Arianna Giovannini, and Antonella Seddone. 2018. “‘No Regionalism Please, We Are Leghisti!’ the Transformation of the Italian Lega Nord Under the Leadership of Matteo Salvini.” Regional & Federal Studies 28 (5): 645–71. doi:10.1080/13597566.2018.1512977.

Albertazzi, Daniele, Duncan McDonnell, and James L. Newell. 2011. “Di Lotta E Di Governo: The Lega Nord and Rifondazione Comunista in Office.” Party Politics 17 (4): 471–87. doi:10.1177/1354068811400523.

Arzheimer, Kai. 2018. “Conceptual Confusion Is Not Always a Bad Thing: The Curious Case of European Radical Right Studies.” In Demokratie Und Entscheidung, edited by Karl Marker, Michael Roseneck, Annette Schmitt, and Jürgen Sirsch, 23–40. Wiesbaden: Springer. doi:10.1007/978-3-658-24529-0_3.

Bale, Tim. 2008. “Turning Round the Telescope. Centre-Right Parties and Immigration and Integration Policy in Europe.” Journal of European Public Policy 15 (3): 315–30. doi:10.1080/13501760701847341.

Blok, E.A. Lisanne de, and T.W.G. Tom van der Meer. 2018. “The Puzzling Effect of Residential Neighbourhoods on the Vote for the Radical Right an Individual-Level Panel Study on the Mechanisms Behind Neighbourhood Effects on Voting for the Dutch Freedom Party, 2010-2013.” Electoral Studies 53: 122–32. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.electstud.2018.04.003.

Carter, Elisabeth. 2018. “Right-Wing Extremism/Radicalism. Reconstructing the Concept.” Journal of Political Ideologies 23 (2): 157–82. doi:10.1080/13569317.2018.1451227.

Charalambous, Giorgos, and Panos Christoforou. 2019. “Far-Right Extremism and Populist Rhetoric: Greece and Cyprus During an Era of Crisis.” South European Society and Politics, 1–27. doi:10.1080/13608746.2018.1555957.

Dennison, James, and Andrew Geddes. 2018. “A Rising Tide? The Salience of Immigration and the Rise of Anti-Immigration Political Parties in Western Europe.” The Political Quarterly, online first. doi:10.1111/1467-923x.12620.

Downes, James F., and Matthew Loveless. 2018. “Centre Right and Radical Right Party Competition in Europe: Strategic Emphasis on Immigration, Anti-Incumbency, and Economic Crisis.” Electoral Studies 54: 148–58. doi:10.1016/j.electstud.2018.05.008.

Eger, Maureen A., and Sarah Valdez. 2018. “From Radical Right to Neo-Nationalist.” European Political Science. doi:10.1057/s41304-018-0160-0.

Elsas, Erika J. van. 2017. “Appealing to the ‘Losers’? The Electorates of Left-Wing and Right-Wing Eurosceptic Parties Compared, 1989-2014.” Electoral Studies 50: 68–79. doi:10.1016/j.electstud.2017.09.013.

Fitzgerald, Jennifer. 2018. Close to Home. Local Ties and Voting Radical Right in Europe. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Ford, Robert, and Matthew J. Goodwin. 2014. Revolt on the Right. Explaining Support for the Radical Right in Britain. London: Routledge.

Fremeaux, Isabelle, and Daniele Albertazzi. 2002. “Discursive Strategies Around ‘Community’ in Political Propaganda. the Case of Lega Nord.” National Identities 4 (2): 145–60. doi:10.1080/14608940220143835.

Froio, Caterina. 2018. “Race, Religion, or Culture? Framing Islam Between Racism and Neo-Racism in the Online Network of the French Far Right.” Perspectives on Politics 16 (3): 696–709. doi:10.1017/S1537592718001573.

Goodwin, Matthew J., and Caitlin Milazzo. 2005. UKIP. Inside the Campaign to Redraw the Map of British Politics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Green-Pedersen, Christoffer, and Pontus Odmalm. 2008. “Going Different Ways? Right-Wing Parties and the Immigrant Issue in Denmark and Sweden.” Journal of European Public Policy 15 (3): 367–81. doi:10.1080/13501760701847564.

Halikiopoulou, Daphne. 2018. “A Right-Wing Populist Momentum? A Review of 2017 Elections Across Europe.” Journal of Common Market Studies 56 (S1): 63–73. doi:10.1111/jcms.12769.
Jonge, Léonie de. 2019. “The Populist Radical Right and the Media in the Benelux: Friend or Foe?” The International Journal of Press/Politics 0 (0): online first. doi:10.1177/1940161218821098.

Kaufmann, Eric. 2019. “Can Narratives of White Identity Reduce Opposition to Immigration and Support for Hard Brexit? A Survey Experiment.” Political Studies 67 (1): 31–46. doi:10.1177/0032321717740489.

Krekó, Péter, and Gregor Mayer. 2015. “Transforming Hungary – Together? An Analysis of the Fidesz-Jobbik Relationship.” In The East European Radical Right in the Political Process, edited by Michael Minkenberg, 183–205. Routledge.

Lutz, Philipp. 2019. “Variation in Policy Success. Radical Right Populism and Migration Policy.” West European Politics 42 (3): 517–44. doi:10.1080/01402382.2018.1504509.
Marx, Paul, and Elias Naumann. 2018. “Do Right-Wing Parties Foster Welfare Chauvinistic Attitudes? A Longitudinal Study of the 2015 ‘Refugee Crisis’ in Germany.” Electoral Studies 52: 111–16. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.electstud.2018.01.011.
Marx, Paul, and Gijs Schumacher. 2018. “Do Poor Citizens Vote for Redistribution, Against Immigration or Against the Establishment? A Conjoint Experiment in Denmark.” Scandinavian Political Studies 41 (3): 263–82. doi:10.1111/1467-9477.12119.
McDonnell, Duncan, and Annika Werner. 2018a. “Differently Eurosceptic: Radical Right Populist Parties and Their Supporters.” Journal of European Public Policy, 1–18. doi:10.1080/13501763.2018.1561743.
———. 2018b. “Respectable Radicals. Why Some Radical Right Parties in the European Parliament Forsake Policy Congruence.” Journal of European Public Policy 25 (5): 747–63. doi:10.1080/13501763.2017.1298659.
Miller-Idriss, Cynthia. 2009. Blood and Culture: Youth, Right-Wing Extremism, and National Belonging in Contemporary Germany. Durham: Duke University Press.

Olsen, Jonathan. 2018. “The Left Party and the Afd.” German Politics and Society 36 (1): 70–83. doi:10.3167/gps.2018.360104.

Pardos-Prado, Sergi, Bram Lancee, and Iñaki Sagarzazu. 2014. “Immigration and Electoral Change in Mainstream Political Space.” Political Behavior 36 (4): 847–75. doi:10.1007/s11109-013-9248-y.
Pytlas, Bartek. 2018. “Radical Right Politics in East and West. Distinctive yet Equivalent.” Sociology Compass 12: e12632. doi:10.1111/soc4.12632.
Rensmann, Lars. 2018. “Radical Right-Wing Populists in Parliament.” German Politics and Society 36 (3): 41–73. doi:10.3167/gps.2018.360303.

Rooduijn, Matthijs. 2018a. “State of the Field: How to Study Populism and Adjacent Topics? A Plea for Both More and Less Focus.” European Journal of Political Research, online first. doi:10.1111/1475-6765.12314.

———. 2018b. “What Unites the Voter Bases of Populist Parties? Comparing the Electorates of 15 Populist Parties.” European Political Science Review 10 (3): 351–68. doi:10.1017/s1755773917000145.
Rooduijn, Matthijs, and Brian Burgoon. 2018. “The Paradox of Well-Being. Do Unfavorable Socioeconomic and Sociocultural Contexts Deepen or Dampen Radical Left and Right Voting Among the Less Well-Off?” Comparative Political Studies 51 (13): 1720–53. doi:10.1177/0010414017720707.
Rydgren, Jens, and Sara van der Meiden. 2018. “The Radical Right and the End of Swedish Exceptionalism.” European Political Science. doi:10.1057/s41304-018-0159-6.

Salzborn, Samuel. 2018. “Antisemitism in the ‘Alternative for Germany’ Party.” German Politics and Society 36 (3): 74–93. doi:10.3167/gps.2018.360304.

Szöcsik, Edina, and Alina Polyakova. 2018. “Euroscepticism and the Electoral Success of the Far Right: The Role of the Strategic Interaction Between Center and Far Right.” European Political Science. doi:10.1057/s41304-018-0162-y.
Vasilopoulos, Pavlos, George E. Marcus, and Martial Foucault. 2018. “Emotional Responses to the Charlie Hebdo Attacks. Addressing the Authoritarianism Puzzle.” Political Psychology, 557–75. doi:10.1111/pops.12439.
Vasilopoulos, Pavlos, George E. Marcus, Nicholas A. Valentino, and Martial Foucault. 2018. “Fear, Anger, and Voting for the Far Right: Evidence from the November 13, 2015 Paris Terror Attacks.” Political Psychology, online first. doi:10.1111/pops.12513.
Vlandas, Tim, and Daphne Halikiopoulou. 2018. “Does Unemployment Matter? Economic Insecurity, Labour Market Policies and the Far-Right Vote in Europe.” European Political Science. doi:10.1057/s41304-018-0161-z.
Voogd, Remko, and Ruth Dassonneville. 2018. “Are the Supporters of Populist Parties Loyal Voters? Dissatisfaction and Stable Voting for Populist Parties.” Government and Opposition, online first. doi:10.1017/gov.2018.24.
Widfeldt, Anders, and Heinz Brandenburg. 2018. “What Kind of Party Is the UK Independence Party? The Future of the Extreme Right in Britain or Just Another Tory Party?” Political Studies 66 (3): 577–600. doi:10.1177/0032321717723509.
Wijk, Daniël van, Gideon Bolt, and Ron Johnston. 2018. “Contextual Effects on Populist Radical Right Support: Consensual Neighbourhood Effects and the Dutch PVV.” European Sociological Review, December. doi:10.1093/esr/jcy049.

Wirz, Dominique S., Martin Wettstein, Anne Schulz, Philipp Müller, Christian Schemer, Nicole Ernst, Frank Esser, and Werner Wirth. 2018. “The Effects of Right-Wing Populist Communication on Emotions and Cognitions Toward Immigrants.” The International Journal of Press/Politics 23 (4): 496–516. doi:10.1177/1940161218788956.

Zulianello, Mattia. 2018. “Anti-System Parties Revisited: Concept Formation and Guidelines for Empirical Research.” Government and Opposition 53 (4): 653–81. doi:10.1017/gov.2017.12.
Zulianello, Mattia, Alessandro Albertini, and Diego Ceccobelli. 2018. “A Populist Zeitgeist? The Communication Strategies of Western and Latin American Political Leaders on Facebook.” The International Journal of Press/Politics 23 (4): 439–57. doi:10.1177/1940161218783836.
Mar 042019
 

Wakelet – what is it, and why should academics care to “curate” tweets about events? Bear with me for a second.

The sad state of curating and social story telling

Until about about a year ago, there was a storify.com. Their business idea was that people would “curate” tweets, facebook posts and other stuff found on social media to narrate stories on the interwebs.

It is a truth universally acknowledged that the idea of “curating” stuff as a mass phenomenon is industrial-grade bullshit. No one wants hordes of people linking half-read stuff together in a bid to be completely ignored by even more people. And so storify was acquired by Livefyre, which was in turn purchased by Adobe, and the whole “curating” business moved away from the masses into the realm of enterprise customers.

Why would a researcher ever think about social story telling?

My scepticism aside, there was at least one use case for storify in academia. When Prof Jane Ordinary is organising any sort of event these days, it is in her and other people’s interest to create a bit of a social media buzz. It is not just outreach and stuff: Jane wants to project at least a vague sense of awareness of her project into the wider world, and journalists and other researchers who would never read a four-pages press release may well want to follow parts of the debate in an informal setting.

The problem here: by its nature, social media is ephemeral. After the event, any buzz will be buried under billions and billions of newer posts. And even during the event, the silo-like structure of the current social mediascape as well as the frequent failure to agree on a single hashtag for smaller events makes it very difficult to get an overview of what people are saying online. Here, storify was useful, because one could link every (presentable) post into a story. Then, one (or one’s capable RA) could share the whole shebang or embedded into a more durable web page, either after or during the event.

Clearly a wake, not a wakelet

Photo by MadeByMark

From storify to wakelet

Looking for a replacement for storify to archive (curate??? seriously???) the online/offline story of the policy dialogue that we organised last week, I came across wakelet (apparently, giving your product a dorky name is still a thing in Silicon Valley). Wakelet does everything that storify did, and then a bit more. Basically, everything that has an URL can be linked into a “collection” (also called a wakelet). Tweets and videos get a special treatment: they appear in a “native” format, i.e. as a tweetbox or within a video player, respectively. It is possible to add images and texts, too.

While wakelet is sometimes a bit rough around the edges. I had to press reload a couple of times after re-ordering elements for everything to reappear. Also, wakelets could load a bit quicker. But nonetheless, wakelet very elegantly plugs this particular gap.

What I don’t see, however, is a sustainable mass-market business model. Currently, the service is free for anyone who wants to showcase something. Interleaving collections with adverts would defy the showcasing aspect. But I don’t see that casual users would be willing to pay for a subscription. And so, in the medium term, it’s turning into another enterprise service or going bust, I presume. But for the time being, wakelet is a useful, if highly specialised addition to the academic toolbox.

Policy Dialogue: immigration, local decline, the Radical Right & wakelet

Within our ORA project SCoRE, we look into the relationships between local decline, local levels of immigration, immigrant sentiment, and (radical right) voting. Obviously, our findings have (or should have) implications for public policy. And so we organised an event at the European Policy Centre in Brussels. We had a great panel, a sizable crowd of interested folks, and distributed about 100 copies of our policy brief. And then it was over.

But if you are interested in what the speakers said, how people reacted, and what it was like,  simply browse the wakelet that I embed below this post. At least until  some other, more profitable company buys them.

Mar 022019
 

Every remotely relevant reference I came across during the last 15 years or so resides in a single bibtex file. That is not a problem. The problem is that I’m moving into a shiny, new but somewhat smaller office, together with hundreds of copies of journal articles and hundreds of PDFs. Wouldn’t it be good to know which physical copies are effectively redundant (unreadable comments in the margins aside) and can therefore stay behind?

The trouble is that bibtex files have a rather flexible, human readable format. Each entry begins with the @ sign, followed by a type (book, article etc.), a reference name,  lots of key/value pairs (fields) in arbitrary order,  and even more curly braces.

grep @ full.bib|wc -l tells me that I have 2914 references in total. grep binder|wc -l (binder is a custom field that I use to keep track of the location of my copies) shows that I have printed out/copied 712 texts over the years, and grep file|wc -l indicates that there are 504 PDFs residing on my filesystem. But what is the magnitude of the intersection?

My first inclination was to look for a suitable Python parser/library. Pybtex looked good in principle but is underdocumented and had trouble reading full.bib, because that is encoded in Latin 1. So it was endless hours of amateurish coding and procrastination ahead. Then I remembered the “do one thing, and do it really well” mantra of old. Enter bibtool, which is a fast and reasonably stable bibtex file filter and pretty printer. Bibtool reads “resource files”, which are really just short scripts containing filtering/formatting directives. select = {binder ".+"} keeps those references whose “binder” field contains at least one character (.+ is a regular expression that matches any non-empty string). select = {file ".+"} selects all references for which I have a PDF. But bibtool applies a logical OR to these conditions while I’m interested in finding those references that meet both criteria.

The quick solution is to store each statement in a file of its own and apply bibtool twice, using a pipeline for extra efficiency: bibtool -r find-binder.rsc full.bib|bibtool -r find-pdf >intersection.bib does the trick and solves my problem in under a minute, without any coding.

As it turns out, there were just 65 references in both groups. Apparently, I stopped printing (or at least filing away) some time ago. Eventually, I binned two copies, but it is the principle that matters.

2019 Update

I still use bibtool for quick filtering/reformatting tasks at the command line, but for more complex jobs involving programmatic access to bibtex files from R, RefManageR is a wonderful package.  I have used it here in a bibliometric study of the Radical/Extreme Right literature. And my nifty RRResRobot also relies heavily on RefManageR. If you are interested at all in RefManageR, here is a short and sweet introduction.

Feb 282019
 

Does local decline drive the radical right vote? Are recent immigrants and other minorities blamed for problems that have nothing to do with them? And, most importantly, how should policy maker address these problems?

My colleague Sarah De Lange presents and discusses headline findings from our SCoRE project at the European Policy Centre in Brussels. Also on the panel are Jolanda Jetten (University of Queensland), who looks at these questions from a social psychology perspective, Marie De Somer, who is Head of the European Migration and Diversity programme at the European Policy Centre, and Judith Sargentini, who is an MEP for GroenLinks.

The full policy brief including our main findings and recommendations is freely available from our website.

Local conditions and radical right voting – policy briefing

Feb 252019
 
local living conditions and radical right voting

How do people in cities & the countryside react to the presence or absence of immigrants? How does local decline further radical right mobilisation? Are immigrants becoming convenient scapegoats for developments that have nothing to do with them?

Or does the daily interaction between immigrants and the native population foster positive contacts that lead to pro-immigration attitudes? And what role do self-selection of liberal-minded individuals into multi-cultural neighbourhoods on the one hand and “white flight” on the other play?

Are immigrants becoming convenient scapegoats for local communities? Click To Tweet

These are (I think) fascinating questions that have occupied me for a long time. Thanks to my fantastic colleagues in the SCoRE project, we are a bit closer to answering them. Tomorrow, we’ll present first findings and a couple of policy recommendations at an EPC event in Brussels. If you can’t/couldn’t make it to Belgium, watch this short video and read either the full policy brief or the executive summary.

Local living conditions, immigrants & the Radical Right in Europe

Does daily interaction between immigrants and the native population foster positive contacts? Click To Tweet
Feb 202019
 

An important part of my job is dealing with stuff that is both unpleasant and weird (no, I’m not talking about teaching evaluations). Much of what goes on in far-right politics these days used to be called “the lunatic fringe” but has stealthily moved into the political mainstream. The “manosphere”, a network of unabashedly anti-feminist (or rather anti-female) sites and online communities is fringe even by these standards. But that may change: the HuffPost has an interesting piece about the role of the UK anti-feminist movement within the wider far-right.

Speaking of fringe: I’m old enough to remember that the “Patrioten für Deutschland” (Patriots for Germany) stood in national elections in the late 1980s. They demanded a “new Renaissance” (sounded alright then) and had a manifesto that was manifestly bonkers. The party was part of the “global LaRouche movement”. Apparently their successor party still exists, and they are still deeply rooted within the mad-hatter sector of the political spectrum. And they continue to be guided by one Helga Zepp-LaRouche, wife of Lyndon LaRouche. The latter has died (“how was he still around???”), but his toxic legacy lives on.

Politico predicts “big wins” for the “right wing” in the upcoming EP elections, complete with a picture of Salvini and Le Pen smiling like newlyweds at the reception. Once you read the article, you realise that they actually predict losses for the Socialists/Social Democrats, good times for ALDE, and a mixed bag for Salvini, Le Pen and their ilk. But it is still an interesting article.

What is survivorship bias? Glad you asked, because this is my excuse for linking to yet another wonderful xkcd cartoon

survivorship_bias.png

Look Mom, no Brexit links this week!

Feb 102019
 
AfD results in 2017 federal election in Germany (map of districts)

As (West) European election years go, 2017 was quite something. The French party system changed beyond recognition. The radical right entered Germany’s national parliament for the first time. UKIP was wiped out, but May still managed to lose a comfortable majority. And very high fragmentation resulted in a coalition that looks improbable even by Dutch standards.

SCoRE is our multinational project that explores the link between local and regional living conditions on the one hand and radical right attitudes and behaviours in these four countries on the other. Sometimes, serendipity is really a thing. Because we had our individual-level data collection scheduled for this year anyway, we gained some unique insights into all four big Western European elections of 2017.

Accordingly, my colleagues have written up reports for France, Germany, the Netherlands, and the UK, complete with beautiful maps. Who does not like maps?

Four 2017 elections that changed West European Politics: France, Germany, the Netherlands & the UK

But perhaps you’re pressed for time or not sure if you really want to read four (fairly short) reports? With the European Parliamentary elections on the horizon, I made a short explainer/teaser video about them to bring you up to speed in just over two minutes. I have a hunch that afterwards, you will want to read all four pieces.