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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

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
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