Date of Submission

Spring 2017

Academic Programs and Concentrations

Economics; Global and International Studies

Project Advisor 1

Pavlina Tcherneva

Abstract/Artist's Statement

This Senior Project advances the modernization losers thesis, wherein the electoral successes of the far right in Western Europe are attributable to neoliberal fiscal policy, labor market shifts, and the institutional structure of the euro. Building on an existing body of literature that primarily assesses voting behavior through survey research, this paper assesses the relationship between right-wing electoral successes and the socioeconomic status of semi-skilled, blue-collar laborers thought to comprise the core voting base of extreme right parties, by using panel data at the national and provincial levels to answer the question, “To what extent has the declining position of labor in Western Europe contributed to the ascendance of the far right at both the national and European level?” The relationship between the position of labor and popularity of the far right, via vote share and electoral success, was studied in both national diets and European Parliament. In order to further examine the regional disparities in support for the right wing a case study for the United Kingdom analyzes county-level support for Brexit and national support for the far right 1980-2015. In both cases, it was found that there is a strong, negative relationship between the position of labor and the success of the far right, although it was indeterminate whether this correlation was notably stronger than the relationship between migration and success of the extreme right.

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Open Access

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