English title: Unemployment Risk, Social Policy, and Populist Right Parties

Author(s): Dominik Geering -

Language: English

Type: Conference paper/poster

Year: 2013

Abstract

Populist right parties mobilize significant parts of the electorate in West European countries by using a tough anti-immigration discourse. This paper investigates how insecurity on the labor market contributes to the electoral success of these parties. Based on relevant literature, the paper hypothesizes that a high risk of being unemployed increases the likelihood of both anti-immigrant attitudes and of voting for populist right parties. In addition, I expect that these relationships should be stronger in countries where social policy for the unemployed is meagerly developed compared to countries where social policy is encompassing. To test these hypotheses, individual-level data from the European Social Survey has been merged with data on occupational unemployment risk and social policy expenditure. Based on this data, two multilevel analyses are applied: First, the paper estimates the effect of unemployment risk and social policy spending on anti-immigrant attitudes. Secondly, it estimates the effect of unemployment risk, anti-immigrant attitudes and social policy spending on the choice to vote for populist right parties. By using individual-level data, the paper complements research on the relationship between the welfare state and populist right parties which has so far used country-level data to test its arguments.

Conference name: 20th International Conference of Europeanists, Crisis and Contingency: States of (In)stability

Location: Amsterdam

Start date: Jun 25, 2013

Type: Paper