Since the end of the 1990s, far right (FR) parties have enjoyed significant electoral gains across the European continent. In combination with the electoral shrinkage of mainstream parties in various ideological nuances, increasing FR support generates fears and challenges for the democratic legitimacy and stability Europe has enjoyed in the post-war era.
Popular explanations of the phenomenon distinguish between demand and supply-side factors, and focus on one of the two sides, rarely linking them together. In all cases, attempts to explain the success of FR parties restrict the interpretation within national boundaries. In this talk, the speaker will offer an alternative approach to cross-national comparisons of the FR. She will discuss patterns of transmission over space and time, concentrating on political externalities that affect its rise.
Building on the bonds of FR parties across Europe and their quasi-simultaneous electoral rise, the talk will explore pathways of diffusion of FR electoral habits and party strategies between different European countries, taking into account their geographical, cultural and temporal proximity. It will use spatial econometrics and a new regional database of national and European parliament elections, from 2000 to 2017 to find evidence of spillovers of both FR vote and party manifesto positions, indicating transmission on both, the demand and the supply side. Impulse responses suggest that the transmission peaks 4-5 years after an unanticipated shock in foreign FR vote shares or policy positions.