Crisis and Extremism. How Does an Extreme Far Right Emerge in a Modern Democracy? Evidence from Greece’s Golden Dawn
29 Pages Posted: 5 Mar 2018 Last revised: 15 May 2020
Date Written: February 25, 2018
We trace the rise of Golden Dawn, one of the most extreme and violent European far-right parties, from the fringe to a prominent position in Greek politics. We use regression analysis to show that its rise is associated with changes in voting behaviour caused by the deep socioeconomic crisis the country went through after 2008. We show that the demand factors affecting the GD vote were triggered by structural changes in the supply side and the implosion of the two-party system that followed the signing of the bail-out agreement (Memorandum) with the country’s creditors. Our results have implications about the political manifestation of socioeconomic grievances and their effect on the far-right vote: whereas socioeconomic grievances usually contribute towards a latent dissatisfaction by the electorate, this might need a sudden supply-side trigger in order to manifest itself, giving little warning signs in advance.
Keywords: crisis, extreme right, issue ownership, structural change, immigration
JEL Classification: D72
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