From Radical Right to Neo-Nationalist: An Investigation of the Economic Platform of the Sweden Democrats

Political Parties
Welfare State
Maureen Eger
Umeå Universitet
Maureen Eger
Umeå Universitet

Although seminal research on the so-called populist radical right (PRR) emphasized both social and economic positions of parties, scholars this century have largely ignored the economic platforms of these parties. However, recent research indicates that this party family, once economically right-wing, has shifted to the left in recent decades and can be described as neo-nationalist, a label consistent with both their social and economic positions (Eger & Valdez 2015). In this paper, we focus on the case of the Sweden Democrats (SD), a party that describes itself as nationalist. Using the Manifesto Project Dataset, we first plot their economic position on the traditional left-right axis relative to other parties in Sweden. Then using SD’s election materials, speeches, and other publications, we analyze how SD views the Swedish welfare state and its relationship to immigrants and immigration.
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