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The left-behind are not alone: class alliances and extreme right success

Wednesday 25 January 2017, 12.00PM

Speaker(s): Sergi Pardos (University of Oxford)

Understanding populist anti-immigrant party success has been in the comparative politics research agenda for the last couple of decades. However, macro-level theories in the field have not reached a consensus on why such parties emerge and, especially, why they don't emerge. Contrary to the view that such parties are exclusively attracting "left behind" blue collar workers, I argue that a crucial determinant of extreme right success is the capacity to divide centre-right electorates and attract part of conservative middle-upper class constituencies. When unemployment is concentrated amongst the lower classes and immigration inflows are high, centre-right parties can more easily attract a united pro-market and anti-immigration electorate wary of increased redistribution demands. By contrast, more equal distributions of unemployment risk and lower immigration inflows divide the right-wing space into liberals and conservatives, and favour the opportunity structure of the extreme right.

Location: Derwent College room D/N/104

Admission: All welcome