Into the Parliament and into the Mainstream: How Radical Right Parties Become Normalized
56 Pages Posted: 28 Nov 2018 Last revised: 29 Sep 2019
Date Written: November 22, 2018
I build a theory of how the parliamentary entry of radical right parties (RRPs) normalizes public expressions of support for the radical right. RRPs openly defy established social norms. Hence voters are likely to privately support the party but refrain from demonstrating that support publicly. When the party enters parlia- ment, however, these voters are more likely to publicly display their true preferences because they perceive norms against their expression as weaker. I test this argu- ment with resource to three complimentary studies. Study 1 employs a regression discontinuity design that compares the under-report of voting for RRPs above and below the threshold of parliamentary representation. Study 2 compares how much individuals report to like RRPs in post-electoral surveys depending on interview mode. Study 3 employs a difference-in-differences design that looks into the under- report of UKIP vote before and after it entered parliament. The results support the main argument of the paper.
Keywords: Radical Right Parties, Social Norms, Political Behaviour, Political Parties, Causal Inference
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