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Convergent or Unresponsive?: The effect of austerity and mainstream party positioning on the electoral success of left-wing populist parties in Western Europe
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Government.
2018 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

While several populist parties with ties to the left side of the ideological scale have become more prominent in the electoral arenas across Western Europe, the literature on populism still has a disproportionate focus on the right. To enhance the existing research on explanatory factors to the electoral fortunes of left-wing populist parties, this study tests two competing theories using multivariate regression analysis. The first theory concerns the effect of mainstream party convergence, and the second, the increased tension between governing parties’ responsive role towards the electorate and their responsible role as national leaders, here operationalized as the implementation of fiscal consolidation. The results show that austerity is conducive to left-wing populist success, and correspondingly supports the theory of the tension between governing parties’ responsibility and responsiveness. However, the effect is weaker when controlling for economic factors, which might be an indication of a partly spurious relationship or the included variables being endogenous. Despite a flexible operationalization, the convergence theory receives marginal to no support and the direction is opposite to what is expected in two of the models, rendering the results even more ambiguous and difficult to analyze. Whereas a lack of variation in the data denotes that the findings should be interpreted with caution, there is hence an indication that existing theories concerning the success of the populist left should not be taken for granted as long as empirical research is limited.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. , p. 47
Keyword [en]
Left-wing, Populism, Mainstream party convergence, Ideology, Responsiveness, Responsibility, Austerity, Fiscal consolidation
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies) Political Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-339592OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-339592DiVA: diva2:1176221
Subject / course
Political Science
Educational program
Master Programme in Political Science
Supervisors
Available from: 2018-01-22 Created: 2018-01-21 Last updated: 2018-01-22Bibliographically approved

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Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies)Political Science

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
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  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
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  • asciidoc
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