I wrote a paper on this topic as part of a course during my Bachelor in psychology. It has been divided into 4 different posts, links can be found at the bottom of this article.
Angouri and Wodak (2014) looked at the sudden emergence of a far-right political in Greece, the Golden Dawn party. In their research they studied online users’ comments on a news website, The Guardian. Through the analysis of these comments they uncovered what people attributed to the rise of this far-right political party. These researchers found that people mainly blamed the entire political system in Greece. The most mentioned institutes who were to blame seemed to be the IMF and the EU. And often people pointed out that the financial crises, immigrants, and corrupt political leaders were to blame as well. A small portion of users also attributed the rise in popularity of the Golden Dawn to the left. The added value of this particular study is to take people’s perceptions into consideration, to find out what people seem to label as to blame for the rise of the far-right. However the comments that were used in the analysis might have been a vastly specific sample, since it is unclear what triggers people to leave a comment on news site. It is likely that not everyone leaves their opinions in the comment sections, which lamentably results in a selective sample.
Other factors may also indirectly influence the growth of support for right-wing parties. These are concerns over economic and cultural factors, associated with immigration. Davis and Deole (2015) looked at the alignment hypothesis which proposes that cultural and economic factors are detrimental to concern about the impact of these factors related to immigration. The concerns over these factors are linked to right-wing ideology and actual right-wing voting behavior. Four different determinants have found to affect economic concerns in terms of immigration. These concerns are more prevalent in countries with a higher unemployment rate, with lower Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita, less diversity in religion, and cultures that tend to be more collectivistic. So it could be argued that the aforementioned situational factors determine the attitudes toward immigration and in turn spark right-wing voting behavior.
Another factor that might have contributed to the rise of popularity of right wing ideologies is that people do not feel part of the integration process in Europe. And as a result they will hold views that can be considered anti-immigrant and Eurosceptic. Kiess, Brähler, Schmutzer, and Decker (2016) looked at right-wing attitudes in Germany. These researchers found that those with lower occupational status experience less connection to the integration process with Europe. People with this status included skilled workers and leg workers, they were more likely to support right wing ideologies. These groups are also more likely to scapegoat, putting the blame on others in terms of anti-semitism and anti-immigrant ideas. The same researchers also found a correlation between right-wing extremism and Euroscepticism.
I wrote a paper on this topic as part of a course during my Bachelor in psychology. It has been divided into 4 different posts.
Part 1: What could have triggered the rise in popularity for right-wing parties in Europe?
Part 2: What could have triggered the rise in popularity for right-wing parties in Europe?
Angouri and Wodak (2014). ‘They became big in the shadow of the crisis’ The Greek success story and the rise of the far right. Discourse & Society, 25(4), 540-565.
Davis, L., & Deole, S. S. (2015). Immigration, Attitudes and the Rise of the Political Right: The Role of Cultural and Economic Concerns over Immigration. Available at SSRN.
Kiess, J., Brähler, E., Schmutzer, G., & Decker, O. (2016). Euroscepticism and Right-wing Extremist Attitudes in Germany: A Result of the ‘Dialectic Nature of Progress’?. German Politics, 1-20.