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Individual Predictors of the Radical Right-Wing Vote in Europe: A Meta-Analysis of Articles in Peer-Reviewed Journals (1995–2016)

  • Daniel Stockemer, Tobias Lentz and Danielle Mayer

Abstract

In this article, we summarize the individual demand-level factors explaining the radical right-wing vote in European countries. To do so, we first review 46 quantitative peer-reviewed articles featuring the individual vote choice in favour of a radical right-wing party as the dependent variable. To identify relevant articles, we use Kai Arzheimer’s bibliography on the radical right and employ the following inclusion criterion: the articles must be written in English, they must use the individual vote for a radical right-wing party as the dependent variable, they must use a quantitative methodology and they must include some type of regression analysis. Using this strategy, we conduct a meta-analysis of 329 relevant models and find that over 20 individual variables are tested. Because many variables such as attitudes towards immigration, employment, age, education and gender only show moderate success rates in attempting to explain an individual’s propensity to vote for the radical right, we complement the review of quantitative studies with an analysis of 14 qualitative publications. The review of these qualitative works shows that the processes through which somebody becomes a voter, supporter or activist of the radical right are often more complex than the commonly used surveys can portray them. Frequently, feelings of relative economic deprivation and dissatisfaction with the political regime trigger an awakening that makes individuals seek engagement. However, the processes behind this awakening are complex and can only be partially captured by quantitative studies.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

* Daniel Stockemer is Associate Professor in the School of Political Studies at the University of Ottawa. Contact email: daniel.stockemer@uottawa.ca.
* Tobias Lentz is a Master’s student in the Political Science Department at the University of Mainz. Contact email: tlentz@students.uni-mainz.de.
* Danielle Mayer, is a PhD student in the Department of Political Science at the University of Montreal. Contact email: danielle.mayer@umontreal.ca.

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