social sciences

Rise of the Right (Conclusion)

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.

The factors that seem to have spiked the rise in popularity for right-wing according to previous research: (1) prosperity in a country, (2) socio-economic deprivation, (3) instilling fear through framing in the media by the right, (4) distrusting the current political system, (5) economic and cultural concerns over immigration, and (6) Euroscepticism (summarized in figure 1, see appendix).

In terms of (1) prosperity, Germany, Austria, and the Netherlands are all among the highest in regards to GDP per capita (Eurostat, 2016). In all of these three countries right-wing politicians are gaining more popularity, Geert Wilders in the Netherlands, Norbert Hofer in Austria, and  Frauke Petry in Germany. These occurrences fit with results found by Lucassen et al (2012), as explained earlier, countries high in prosperity could view immigrants as a threat. Because they perceive the newcomers to possibly change the situation from which they currently benefit. Though prosperity on country-level has been linked to far-right preferences, Werts et al (2012) looked at individual (2) socio-economic deprivation. These researchers have also found a link between right-wing voting behavior and this particular deprivation.

Moreover, a factor that has influenced the surge in popularity for right-wing parties is (3) media framing, as implied by Yılmaz (2012). The major issues used in their framing techniques seem to be immigration and Euroscepticism. Nigel Farage of the right-wing United Kingdom Independent Party’s (UKIP) caused an uproar in the media by unveiling a poster that displays a stream non-white immigrants. The poster has two different slogans on it: ‘Breaking point: the EU has failed us all’ and ‘we must break free from the EU and take back our country’. So both aforementioned issues are being conveyed through the poster.

A prime example of (4) distrusting the current political system would be the sudden advocation of anti-establishment ideas. These views were shared by Donald Trump in his campaign for presidency in the USA during 2015 and 2016. At a rally in Virginia he expressed the following sentiment: “we are going to replace our failed and corrupt establishment with a new government that serves you, your family, and your country”. However, the same anti-establishment rhetoric is gaining ground in Europe. In particular, a movement in Italy referred to as Movimento 5 Stelle (Five Star Movement), who claim to be anti-establishment.

One of the attributes all articles seem to mention is (5) the fear of immigrants coming to Europe. With the wars going on in Syria, the amount of immigrants applying for asylum in Europe has increased over the last years (Asylum Statistics, 2016). There have been protests by the far-right in several European countries over refugee shelters (Huggler, 2016), which have turned into violent crashes. UKIP’s previous leader, Nigel Farage, has publicly indicated that he does not agree with the UK’s current immigration policies, in a speech during his party’s conference he stated: “this gets to the heart of the immigration policy that UKIP wants, we should not welcome foreign criminal gangs and we must deport those who have committed offences”.

Lastly, (6) Euroscepticism has not been going unnoticed after the referendum on ‘Brexit’ take took place June 23rd, 2016.  On this day Great Britain decided that it would rather leave the European Union (EU) than remain. Other politicians from different EU member states have expressed their concern, discussing the possibility of revoking their membership. For instance, far-right politician Geert Wilders of the Partij van de Vrijheid (Freedom party) has called for a referendum in the Netherlands to leave the EU (Reuters, 2016). In an interview he explained his reasoning behind this statement: “we want be in charge of our own country, our own money, our own borders, and our own immigration policy”.

Taking all of the aforementioned research into consideration, it can be argued that several factors can contribute to a surge in support for right-wing parties in Europe. It is of importance to figure out what causes people to vote for a certain political ideology. It is not my place to argue which ideology is better, however it is essential to be aware of the support for political ideologies within a society. And extremism on both sides of the left-right spectrum could lead to divisions, which may not be beneficial to have a functioning society. To mention a contemporary example, after the 2016 United States Presidential Elections, the amount of verbal and physical attacks increased, targeting specific groups (Dearden, 2016), which seems to create a gaps between those groups. And in Europe, with Brexit as a starting point, it seems that more political parties are become unsatisfied with the unification through the European Union. Therefore it is crucial that all political parties, activists, and supporters stay in dialogue with one another, and not settle it through physical or verbal harassment. This means being aware of standpoints of each political division, and the implications of the policies they advocate.

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.
Introduction
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?
Concluding Remarks

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.

Asylum Statistics. (2016, April 20). Retrieved December 8, 2016, from Eurotstat, http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php/Asylum_statistics

Carmines, E. G., & D’Amico, N. J. (2015). The new look in political ideology research. Annual Review of Political Science, 18, 205-216.

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.

Dearden, L. (2016). Donald Trump’s victory followed by wave of hate crime attacks against minorities across US – led by his supporters. Retrieved December 18, 2016, from Independent, http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-elections/donald-trump-president-supporters-attack-muslims-hijab-hispanics-lgbt-hate-crime-wave-us-election-a7410166.html

Eurostat (2016). GDP per capita, consumption per capita and price level indices. Retrieved from December 15, 2016, from Eurostat, http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php/GDP_per_capita,_consumption_per_capita_and_price_level_indices

Giuliano, P., & Spilimbergo, A. (2014). Growing up in a Recession. The Review of Economic Studies, 81(2), 787-817.

Graham, J., Haidt, J., Koleva, S., Motyl, M., Iyer, R., Wojcik, S. P., & Ditto, P. H. (2012). Moral foundations theory: The pragmatic validity of moral pluralism. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, Forthcoming.

Haidt, J., Graham, J., & Joseph, C. (2009). Above and below left–right: Ideological narratives and moral foundations. Psychological Inquiry, 20, 110-119.

Huggler, J. (2016). Violent clashes break out between asylum seekers and far-Right protesters in eastern Germany. Retrieved December 14, 2016, from Telegraph, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/09/15/violent-clashes-break-out-between-asylum-seekers-and-far-right-p/

Jost, J. T., Glaser, J., Kruglanski, A. W., & Sulloway, F. J. (2003). Political conservatism as motivated social cognition. Psychological bulletin, 129(3), 339.

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.

Lall, M. & Sharma, S.  (2009). Personal growth and training and development. New Dehli: Excel Books.

Lucassen, G., & Lubbers, M. (2012). Who fears what? Explaining far-right-wing preference in Europe by distinguishing perceived cultural and economic ethnic threats. Comparative Political Studies, 45(5), 547-574.

Reuters. (2016). Dutch anti-immigration leader Wilders calls for Dutch referendum on EU membership. Retrieved December 14, 2016, from Reuters, http://www.reuters.com /article/us-britain-eu-wilders-idUSKCN0ZA0HO

Stewart, H., & Mason, R. (2016). Nigel Farage’s anti-migrant poster reported to police. Retrieved december 15, 2016, from The Guardian, https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/jun/16/nigel-farage-defends-ukip-breaking-poster-queue-of-migrants

Werts, H., Scheepers, P., & Lubbers, M. (2012). Euro-scepticism and radical right-wing voting in Europe, 2002–2008: Social cleavages, socio-political attitudes and contextual characteristics determining voting for the radical right. European Union Politics, 1465116512469287.

Yılmaz, F. (2012). Right-wing hegemony and immigration: How the populist far-right achieved hegemony through the immigration debate in Europe. Current sociology, 60(3), 368-381.

social sciences

Rise of the Right (Part 2)

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.
Introduction
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?
Concluding Remarks

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.