James Dennison will present his research project on trends in European elections in the 21st century, such as the success of the ‘radical right’ and green parties and the decline of social democratic parties. He will present initial results of this project that were recently published which explain the rise of the radical right.
The primary hypothesis of Dennison’s project is that these trends result from variations in what Europeans see as the most important political issues of the day, also known as issue salience. His project will theorize and test the relationship between the salience of issues and the electoral success of corresponding party families across Europe. It will then identify the antecedents of variation in issue salience, such as real-world trends, events and the actions of media and politicians. The methodological approach will be positivist and quantitative, particularly utilizing panel data and structural equation models at the national- and individual-levels. Taking both a cross-sectional and longitudinal approach at two levels of analysis should result in robust findings, while producing pan-European, pan-party family models will make the results novel and impactful.
According to Dennison, this project is important because of its prescient and consequential subject matter. Recent trends in European elections all are likely to gravely impact European politics, public policies and societies for some time. Better understanding and predicting these changes would be highly valuable yet currently beyond our scientific reach.
This seminar is open to the public. The New Research on Europe Seminar serves as a weekly forum in which CES Visiting Scholars present their work and encourages discussions across disciplinary as well as national boundaries. After each presentation, there is ample time for critique and discussion.