Sep 292008
In a recent article in the European Journal of Political Research, Kestilä and Söderlund claim (amongst other things) that in the French regional elections of 2004, turnout and district magnitude have significant negative effects on the extreme right vote whereas the effects of the number of party lists and unemployment are positive and significant. Most interestingly, immigration (which is usually a very good predictor for the radical right vote) had no effect on the success of the Front National. More generally, they argue that a subnational approach can control for a wider range of factors and provide more reliable results than cross-national analyses (now the most common approach to this phenomenon). My colleague Liz Carter and I disagreed and engaged in a massive replication/re-analysis endeavour. The outcome is a critique of the KS model of subnational political opportunity structures in regional elections. In this paper, we dispute Kestilä’s and Söderlund’s claims on theoretical, conceptual and methodological grounds and demonstrate that their findings are spurious. Today, the European Journal has accepted the article for publication (probably in 2009) 🙂

Technorati-Tags: extreme right, radical right, populist right, far right, france, opportunity structures, unemployment, immigration, district magnitude, regional elections, front national, 2004, voting

Aug 292008
Everyone just seems to know that the voters of the Extreme Right hate foreigners in general and immigrants in particular, but robust comparative evidence for the alleged xenophobia – Radical Right vote link is scarce. Moreover, many of the published analyses are based on somewhat outdated (i.e. 1990s) data, and alternative accounts of the extreme right vote (the “unpolitical” protest hypothesis and the hypothesis that the Far Right in Western Europe attracts people with “neo-liberal” economic preferences, championed by Betz and Kitschelt in the 1990s) do exist. Just a few days ago, a journal has accepted a paper by me in which I test these three competing hypotheses using (relatively) recent data from the European Social Survey and a little Structural Equation Modelling. As it turns out, protest and neo-liberalism have no statistically significant impact on the Extreme Right vote whatsoever. Anti-immigrant sentiment, however, plays a crucial role for the Extreme Right in all countries but Italy. Its effects are moderated by party identification and general ideological preferences. Moreover, the effect of immigrant sentiment is moderate by general ideological preferences and party identification. I conclude that comparative electoral research should focus on the circumstances under which immigration is politicised. Wasn’t it blindingly obvious?

Technorati-Tags: extreme right, radical right, populist right, far right, sem, structural equation modelling, western europe, italy, immigration, comparative politics, european social survey, voting, voters

Jun 212008
Over the last 25 years, the study of the extreme / radical / populist right
has blossomed as a sub-discipline of both party and electoral research.
As well as becoming the focus of significant case-specific and
comparative work in stable democracies, the end of communism and the
integration of the New Democracies in Central and Eastern Europe into
the European Union has further spurred interest in these parties and
their voters. Equally, additional subdisciplinary literatures including
political communication, political economy, public opinion and
political theory now constitute a core part of the corpus of work on
these organizations.

In a bid to bring together state-of-the-art research from these approaches, Liz Carter and I will organise a section titled “Perspectives on the Radical Right” during the ECPR’s 5th General Conference at the University of Potsdam in Germany in September 2009. The section will consist of eight panels, each with slots for 4-5 papers. A few days ago, a formal call for Panels within this section on the Extreme / Radical / Populist Right was issued. Panel chairs do not have to be members of ECPR institutions, so anyone interested in organising a panel can submit a proposal through the website. The deadline for panel proposals is September 1, 2008. A call for papers will be issued in November 2008.

Technorati-Tags: extreme right, populist right, radical right, extreme, radical, populist, rightextreme right, populist right, radical right, extreme, radical, populist, right

Apr 112008
Over the last seven years our so, much of my research has focused on the voters of the Extreme Right in Western Europe. Last November, I submitted the final draft of a monograph on that topic to a well-established German publishing company, with view of getting the book out in late January. Then, a lot of things happened (or rather failed to happen). But, believe it or not, yesterday they sent me the contract, and now “Die Wähler der extremen Rechten 1980-2002” is officially in print. I’ll keep you posted.

Social Bookmarks:
New Extreme Right Book out - soon? 1New Extreme Right Book out - soon? 2New Extreme Right Book out - soon? 3New Extreme Right Book out - soon? 4New Extreme Right Book out - soon? 5New Extreme Right Book out - soon? 6New Extreme Right Book out - soon? 7New Extreme Right Book out - soon? 8New Extreme Right Book out - soon? 9New Extreme Right Book out - soon? 10New Extreme Right Book out - soon? 11New Extreme Right Book out - soon? 12

Technorati Tags: extreme right, western europe, voting, right, radical right