IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Contextual Factors and the Extreme Right Vote in Western Europe, 1980–2002


  • Kai Arzheimer


Research on the voters of the extreme right in Western Europe has become a minor industry, but relatively little attention has been paid to the twin question of why support for these parties is often unstable, and why the extreme right is so weak in many countries. Moreover, the findings from different studies often contradict each other. This article aims at providing a more comprehensive and satisfactory answer to this research problem by employing a broader database and a more adequate modeling strategy. The main finding is that while immigration and unemployment rates are important, their interaction with other political factors is much more complex than suggested by previous research. Moreover, persistent country effects prevail even if a whole host of individual and contextual variables is controlled for.

Suggested Citation

  • Kai Arzheimer, 2009. "Contextual Factors and the Extreme Right Vote in Western Europe, 1980–2002," American Journal of Political Science, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 53(2), pages 259-275, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:amposc:v:53:y:2009:i:2:p:259-275
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1540-5907.2009.00369.x

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jackman, Robert W. & Volpert, Karin, 1996. "Conditions Favouring Parties of the Extreme Right in Western Europe," British Journal of Political Science, Cambridge University Press, vol. 26(4), pages 501-521, October.
    2. Mitchell, Michael N. & Chen, Xiao, 2005. "Visualizing main effects and interactions for binary logit models," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 5(1), pages 1-19.
    3. Golder, Matt, 2003. "Electoral Institutions, Unemployment and Extreme Right Parties: A Correction," British Journal of Political Science, Cambridge University Press, vol. 33(3), pages 525-534, July.
    4. Michael N. Mitchell & Xiao Chen, 2005. "Visualizing main effects and interactions for binary logit models," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 5(1), pages 64-82, March.
    5. Duch, Raymond M. & Stevenson, Randy, 2005. "Context and the Economic Vote: A Multilevel Analysis," Political Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 13(4), pages 387-409.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Calderon, Alvaro & Fouka, Vasiliki & Tabellini, Marco, 2020. "Racial Diversity, Electoral Preferences, and the Supply of Policy: the Great Migration and Civil Rights," CEPR Discussion Papers 14318, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Alabrese, Eleonora & Becker, Sascha O. & Fetzer, Thiemo & Novy, Dennis, 2019. "Who voted for Brexit? Individual and regional data combined," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 132-150.
    3. Gidron, Noam & Mijs, Jonathan Jan Benjamin, 2019. "Do changes in material circumstances drive support for populist radical parties? Panel data evidence from The Netherlands during the Great Recession, 2007–2015," SocArXiv w4e6s, Center for Open Science.
    4. Martin Halla & Alexander F. Wagner & Josef Zweimüller, 2012. "Does Immigration into Their Neighborhoods Incline Voters Toward the Extreme Right? The Case of the Freedom Party of Austria," NRN working papers 2012-04, The Austrian Center for Labor Economics and the Analysis of the Welfare State, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
    5. Tomberg, Lukas & Smith Stegen, Karen & Vance, Colin, 2019. ""The mother of all political problems''? On asylum seekers and elections in Germany," Annual Conference 2019 (Leipzig): 30 Years after the Fall of the Berlin Wall - Democracy and Market Economy 203615, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    6. Simone Moriconi & Giovanni Peri & Riccardo Turati, 2018. "Skill of the Immigrants and Vote of the Natives: Immigration and Nationalism in European Elections 2007-2016," NBER Working Papers 25077, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Costas Roumanias & Spyros Skouras & Nicos Christodoulakis, 2018. "Crisis and Extremism: Can a Powerful Extreme Right Emerge in a Modern Democracy? Evidence from Greece’s Golden Dawn," GreeSE – Hellenic Observatory Papers on Greece and Southeast Europe 126, Hellenic Observatory, LSE.
    8. Carl C.Berning, 2018. "Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) – Germany’s New Radical Right-wing Populist Party," ifo DICE Report, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 15(04), pages 16-19, January.
    9. Alexandra Avdeenko & Thomas Siedler, 2017. "Intergenerational Correlations of Extreme Right‐Wing Party Preferences and Attitudes toward Immigration," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 119(3), pages 768-800, July.
    10. Abou-Chadi, Tarik & Krause, Werner, 2020. "The Causal Effect of Radical Right Success on Mainstream Parties’ Policy Positions: A Regression Discontinuity Approach," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, pages 829-847.
    11. Foucart, Renaud & Schmidt, Robert C., 2019. "(Almost) efficient information transmission in elections," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 119(C), pages 147-165.
    12. Ryan Wilson, 2019. "The Myth of Political Reason - The Moral and Emotional Foundations of Political Cognition and US Politics," SRE-Disc sre-disc-2019_02, Institute for Multilevel Governance and Development, Department of Socioeconomics, Vienna University of Economics and Business.
    13. Levi, Eugenio & Patriarca, Fabrizio, 2019. "An exploratory study of populism: the municipality-level predictors of electoral outcomes in Italy," GLO Discussion Paper Series 430, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    14. Mehic, Adrian, 2019. "Immigration and Right-Wing Populism: Evidence from a Natural Experiment," Working Papers 2019:5, Lund University, Department of Economics.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wly:amposc:v:53:y:2009:i:2:p:259-275. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley Content Delivery). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.