Populist radical right parties are more successful in some areas than others. However, when trying to explain geographical patterns of support for the populist radical right, similar outcomes in otherwise different contexts and different outcomes in otherwise similar contexts can be observed. In this paper, we show that this paradox can be understood when we examine how citizens are affected differently by the context in which they live. Using a unique dataset containing geocoded survey data and contextual data from four countries (DE, FR, NL and UK), we demonstrate that mediating and moderating variables, such a perceptions of local decline and education level shape the relationship between contextual development such as the increasing presence of immigrants, on the one hand, and populist and nativism attitudes and PRR support, on the other hand.
A draft copy of this research paper may be downloaded by using the link provided below under "Event Materials".
Sarah L. de Lange is Professor by special appointment at the Department of Political Science at the University of Amsterdam, where she holds the Dr. J.M. Den Uyl chair. Her research interests include societal cleavages, political parties, and extremism, populism, and radicalism. Her recent research projects focus on the emergence of new political oppositions in Europe on that basis of, amongst others, geographical, generational, and educational divides. She has recently concluded the collaborative international project Sub-National Context and Radical Right Support in Europe (supported by an ORA grant) and is currently co-directing the research project Generational Differences in Determinants of Party Choice (supported by an NWO grant). Her co-edited volume Radical Right-Wing Populist Parties in Western Europe: Into the Mainstream?, which appeared with Routledge in 2016, analyses the extent to which radical right-wing populist parties have become part of mainstream politics, as well as the factors and conditions which facilitate this trend.