Radical Right Parties’ “Exclusive Solidarity”

Thursday, July 13, 2017
Anatomy - Large LT (University of Glasgow)
Zoe Lefkofridi , Political Science, Paris-Lodron University of Salzburg
Elie Michel , European University Institute
Radical Right Parties (RRPs) in Western Europe have traditionally propagated economic liberalism and shown little support for redistributive policies. As such, they have been typically classified as economically right wing. In this comparative study, we argue and empirically demonstrate that radical right parties have changed their programmatic preferences by progressively promoting redistributive policies in an effort to strengthen their appeal to the working class. For our analyses we use mixed methods and rely on a combination of data sources. First, we assess the salience of welfare issues in the manifestos of major West European RRPs over the last three decades based on CMP data. Second, we examine their positions on welfare issues based on recent euandi data. Third, we analyse the most recent manifestos of three successful RRPs (Austrian FPÖ, French FN and Swiss SVP) qualitatively. We find that welfare state expansion has become a salient issue for many Western European RRPs in recent decades. Moreover, if their support for the welfare state varies, we find that few RRPs still position themselves on the right regarding redistributive issues. However, we find this party family to promote a specific kind of solidarity: exclusive solidarity.
  • Lefkofridi&Michel_CES2017.pdf (505.9 kB)