English title: Do Parties "Playing the Race Card" Undermine Natives' Support for Redistribution? Evidence from Europe

Author(s): Alexander W. Schmidt - Dennis C. Spies -

Language: English

Type: Journal article

Year: 2014


In this article, we address the question of whether the policy statements of political parties with regard to migration affect the link between individual anti-immigrant sentiment and support for redistributive policies. While the effect of political parties “playing the race card” is well documented and repeatedly discussed in the American context, it has received little attention in comparative studies. We test our measurements of issue-salience with regard to migration and welfare-related matters by conducting multilevel models for a sample of 14 European countries. We also control for the potential effects of the countries’ welfare regimes—which is so far the most prominent contextual variable. Our results strongly indicate a moderating party-effect: The more parties accentuate crucial migration issues, the less general support there is for welfare programs by native anti-immigrant groups. In contrast, we find no effect of the repeatedly discussed welfare regime on this relationship, once controlled for party statements.

Volume: 47

Issue: 4

From page no: 519

To page no: 549

Refereed: Yes

DOI: 10.1177/0010414013488542

Journal: Comparative Political Studies

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