The Rise of the Far Right in Debtor and Creditor European Countries: The Case of European Parliament Elections
The Political Quarterly, 86 (2). pp. 279-288, 2015, DOI: 10.1111/1467-923X.12168
12 Pages Posted: 2 Apr 2016 Last revised: 10 May 2016
Date Written: May 19, 2015
While the 2014 European Parliament elections were marked by the rise of far right-wing parties, the different patterns of support that we observe across Europe and across time are not directly related to the economic crisis. Indeed, economic hardship seems neither sufficient nor necessary for the rise of such parties to occur. Using the cross-national results for the 2004, 2009 and 2014 EP elections in order to capture time and country variations, we posit the economy affects the rise of far right-wing parties in more complex ways. Specifically, we compare the experience of high debt countries (the ‘debtors’) and the others (the ‘creditors’) and explore the relationship between far right-wing party success on the one hand, and unemployment, inequality, immigration, globalization and the welfare state on the other hand. Our discussion suggests there might be a trade off between budgetary stability and far right-wing party support, but the choice between Charybdis and Scylla may be avoided if policy makers carefully choose which policies should bear the brunt of the fiscal adjustment.
Keywords: European Parliament elections, far right-wing parties, debtor countries, immigration, unemployment, welfare state
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