University of Twente Student Theses


Examining the rise of right wing populism in Europe

Kleene, Lara (2016) Examining the rise of right wing populism in Europe.

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Abstract:This thesis aims at identifying the link between the economic performance in various European countries and people’s voting behavior in regard to it. Therefore, a retrospective socio-tropic perception of the economy’s performance is connected with the likelihood for voting for a populist right wing party in national parliament elections. Accordingly, the main research question is: “In how far is the retrospective socio-tropic perception of the economic performance by citizens in European countries influencing their voting decision to support a right wing populist party in national elections?” In order to be able to empirically answer this question, the analysis is cross-national focusing on elections in various European countries from 1996 until 2013. Data was obtained from the “Comparative Study of Electoral Systems” (CSES) which uses common survey questions in their post-election studies in countries around the world. The relationship is analyzed with simple and multivariate regressions and graphs. As we are facing a dramatic rise in support for populist parties in recent times, this study could determine a measurable reason to vote for right wing populist parties and contribute to the theory of economic voting. The results of this study are mostly in line with previous studies conducted. The effect of economic voting is rather little and varies a lot across time and country. Further research should focus on finding the right measures to better assess this phenomenon.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:89 political science
Programme:Management Society and Technology BSc (56654)
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