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Sub-national context and radical right support in Europe - SCoRE

Programme Group Challenges to Democratic Representation

This NWO funded project aims to provide the first comparative survey of local radical right support in four Western European countries (France, Germany, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom).

Period: 01 Jan 2016 until 31 Dec 2018

Funding: NWO

Comparative research on the radical right has focused mainly on national-level indicators and individual motivators to explain variation in support for these parties. Some case-study approaches use sub-national models to look at within-country variation, but to date there is an absence of comparative research formalising the role of the meso-level across countries in radical right support.

This comparative study proposes an interdisciplinary political science, sociology and geography team to construct a multi-level analysis of four key countries (France, Germany, the Netherlands and the UK) which provide varying institutional, infrastructural, socio-economic and attitudinal contexts in which to study the phenomenon. The three-year project will first collate all available secondary political and socio-economic data from official sources to establish an across-time database at multiple levels of territorial aggregation. Second, it will build upon these macro-/meso-level foundations with a standardised large-n survey across the four countries, to collect an up-to-date set of individual demographic, attitudinal and behavioural indicators. Finally, these will be combined in a full mixed model of radical right support, identifying the comparative role of context and individual attributes. The results will provide an unparalleled level of detailed understanding of such determinants, of importance both to academic understanding and to stakeholders’ policy planning and implementation.

This ORA project aims to provide the first comparative survey of local radical right support in four Western European countries (France, Germany, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom). It will be pursued through three main research objectives:

1. To collate existing government data on a) electoral counts and b) immigration and socio-economic data at the finest spatial scale (i.e. electoral wards - LAU2s) for each of the four countries.

2. To design and conduct an appropriately large and powered, geo-referenced survey that measures a) support for the radical right, b) perceptions of the presence of minorities and of economic and other local grievances, and c) feelings of cultural and economic threat; and includes appropriate covariates.

3. To create a unique data / research resource for analysing the dynamics of right-wing support at micro-, meso-, and macro-levels - that is, provide a fine-grained multi-level data-set that combines aggregate and individual data (linking elements of objectives 1 and 2), and linking perceptions and objective living conditions to reported electoral support for radical right parties. Analyses based on this dataset will allow researchers, policy-makers and ordinary citizens to understand where and why people vote for the radical right. To this end, we will develop an interactive application on the internet that maps the support for radical right parties. Additionally, we will undertake multivariate aggregate, individual-level, and multilevel statistical analysis of these data and disseminate findings in a number of ways.

prof. dr. W. (Wouter) van der Brug

Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

Programme group: Challenges to Democratic Representation