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Exclusionist Right-Parties and Electoral Competition in Western Europe

Open Panel

Abstract

After the rise of ecologist and left-libertarian parties, the upsurge of a new kind of rightist parties has represented the most important change in West European party systems in the last thirty years. In party politics literature, researches abound on right-wing radicalism and its electoral performances, trying to give an account about different degrees of success. Despite of this profusion, an analysis focusing on party system dynamics is not recurrent and the aim of this paper is to fill this gap by investigating the movements of parties mainly along two axis of party competition: i.e., the economic dimension dealing with the distributive conflict between pro-state and pro-market stances and, on the other hand, the divide between tough and more permissive immigration policies. To this purpose, and after having identified our case studies, party locations along those two dimensions will be assessed by means of expert surveys and, afterwards, a qualitative comparative analysis will be performed to compare both party system and single party properties, in order to single out which are the patterns that can unfold why, in some countries, parties of the exclusionist right have gathered a relevant electoral score, while this did not hold true in other contexts. The set under investigation is made of fourteen EU-member democracies and lifespan analysis consists of two decades (1990-2010).