Advertisement

Terrorism’s effect on Europe’s centre- and far-right parties

  • William Wheatley
  • Joseph RobbinsEmail author
  • Lance Y. Hunter
  • Martha Humphries Ginn
Research

Abstract

European far-right parties have enjoyed mixed success in the past few years. The primary elements in many of these parties’ policy platforms centre on security, terrorism, and foreign persons. Naturally, these platforms are designed to attract electoral support that these actors can parlay into governing positions. Our study offers an important test to ascertain how voters respond to terrorist attacks with respect to centre- and far-right parties. We contend that far-right parties are to likely benefit from terrorist attacks more than centre-right parties. The results from more than 30 European countries, spanning 1975–2013, affirm our hypothesis. The implications for partisanship, governance, and terrorism are explored in this paper as well.

Keywords

European politics Far-right politics Political violence 

Notes

References

  1. Arzheimer, K. 2009. Contextual factors and the extreme right vote in Western Europe, 1980 2002’. American Journal of Political Science 53 (2): 259–275.Google Scholar
  2. Arzheimer, K., and E. Carter. 2006. Political opportunity structures and right-wing extremist party success. European Journal of Political Research 45 (3): 419–443.Google Scholar
  3. Bale, T. 2008. Turning round the telescope. Centre-right parties and immigration and integration policy in Europe. Journal of European Public Policy 15 (3): 315–330.Google Scholar
  4. Beauzamy, B. 2013. Explaining the rise of the Front National to electoral prominence: multi faceted or contradictory models? In Right-wing populism in Europe: politics and discourse, ed. Ruth Wodak, Majid KhosraviNik, and Brigitte Mral. London: Bloomsbury.Google Scholar
  5. Beck, N., and J. Katz. 1995. What to do (and not to do) with time-series cross-section data. American Political Science Review 89 (3): 634–647.Google Scholar
  6. Beck, N., and J. Katz. 2007. Random coefficient models for time-series cross-section data: Monte Carlo experiments. Political Analysis 15 (2): 182–195.Google Scholar
  7. Benoit, K., and M. Laver. 2006. Party policy in modern democracies. Abingdon: Routledge.Google Scholar
  8. Bloch-Elkon, Y. 2011. Public perceptions and the threat of international terrorism after 9/11. Public Opinion Quarterly 75 (2): 366–392.Google Scholar
  9. Bonnetain, P. 2004. Behind the polling-booth curtain and beyond simple speculations: toward a causal model of far-right voting behavior—some evidence from the French presidential election of 2002. Canadian Journal of Political Science 37 (2): 419–429.Google Scholar
  10. Campbell, J. 2005. Why Bush won the presidential election of 2004: incumbency, ideology, terrorism, and turnout. Political Science Quarterly 120 (2): 219–241.Google Scholar
  11. Canetti-Nisim, D., E. Halperin., K. Sharvit, S. E. Hobfoll. 2009. A new stress-based model of political extremism. Journal of Conflict Resolution 53 (3): 363–389.Google Scholar
  12. Carter, E. 2005. The extreme right in Western Europe: success or failure?. Manchester: University of Manchester Press.Google Scholar
  13. Castles, F., and P. Mair. 1984. Left-right political scales: some “expert” judgements. European Journal of Political Research 12 (1): 73–88.Google Scholar
  14. Clarke, S., and J. Holder. 2017. French presidential election: first round results in charts and maps. The Guardian, April 24.Google Scholar
  15. Coffé, H., T. Immerzeel, and M. Lubbers. 2016. Competing with the radical right: distances between the European radical right and other parties on typical radical right issues. Party Politics 22 (6): 823–834.Google Scholar
  16. De Lange, S. 2012. New alliances: Why mainstream parties govern with radical right-wing populist parties. Political Studies 60 (4): 899–918.Google Scholar
  17. Deutsche Welle. 2017. Austrian elections: Sebastian Kurz becomes youngest leader. Deutsche-Welle, October 15.Google Scholar
  18. Döring, H., and P. Manow. 2017. Parliaments and governments database. http://www.parlgov.org/.
  19. Duckitt, J. 2001. A dual-process cognitive-motivational theory of ideology and prejudice. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology 33: 41–113.Google Scholar
  20. Echebarria-Echabe, A., and E. Fernandez-Guede. 2006. Effects of terrorism on attitudes and ideological orientation. European Journal of Social Psychology 36 (2): 259–265.Google Scholar
  21. Fordham, B. 1998. Partisanship, macroeconomic policy and the U.S. uses of force, 1949–1994. Journal of Conflict Resolution 42 (4): 418–439.Google Scholar
  22. Getmansky, A., and T. Zeitzoff. 2014. Terrorism and voting: the effect of rocket threat on voting in Israeli elections. American Political Science Review 108 (3): 588–604.Google Scholar
  23. Golder, M. 2003a. Electoral institutions, unemployment and extreme right parties: a correction. British Journal of Political Science 33 (4): 525–534.Google Scholar
  24. Golder, M. 2003b. Explaining variation in the success of extreme right parties in Western Europe. Comparative Political Studies 36 (4): 432–466.Google Scholar
  25. Halikiopoulou, D., and S. Vasilopoulou. 2014. Support for the far right in the 2014 European Parliament elections: a comparative perspective. The Political Quarterly 85 (3): 285–288.Google Scholar
  26. Halikiopoulou, D., and T. Vlandas. 2015. The rise of the far right in debtor and creditor European countries: the case of European Parliament elections. The Political Quarterly 86 (2): 279–288.Google Scholar
  27. Heinisch, R. 2008. Right-wing populism in Austria: a case for comparison. Problems of Post Communism 55 (1): 40–56.Google Scholar
  28. Huber, J., and R. Inglehart. 1995. Expert interpretations of party space and party locations in 42 societies. Party Politics 1 (1): 73–111.Google Scholar
  29. Huddy, L., and S. Feldman. 2011. Americans respond politically to 9/11 understanding the impact of the terrorist attacks and their aftermath. American Psychologist 66 (6): 455–467.Google Scholar
  30. Hunter, L., D. Bennett, and J. Robbins. 2016. Destabilizing effects of terrorism on party system stability. Terrorism and Political Violence 30 (3): 503–523.Google Scholar
  31. Jackman, R., and K. Volpert. 1996. Conditions favoring parties of the extreme right in Western Europe. British Journal of Political Science 26 (4): 501–521.Google Scholar
  32. Jimenez-Martin, S. 1999. Controlling for endogeneity of strike variables in the estimation of wage settlement equations. Journal of Labor Economics 17 (3): 583–606.Google Scholar
  33. Jost J.T., J. Glaser, A.W. Kruglanski, and F.J. Sulloway. 2003. Political conservatism as motivated social cognition. Psychological Bulletin 129 (3): 339–375.Google Scholar
  34. Jost J.T., J.L. Napier, H. Thorisdottir, S.D. Gosling, T.P. Palfai, and B. Ostafin. 2007. Are needs to manage uncertainty and threat associated with political conservatism or ideological extremity? Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 33 (7): 989–1007.Google Scholar
  35. Kibris, A. 2011. Funerals and elections: the effects of terrorism on voting behavior in Turkey. Journal of Conflict Resolution 55 (2): 220–247.Google Scholar
  36. Koch, M., and S. Cranmer. 2007. Testing the ‘Dick Cheney’ hypothesis: Do governments of the left attract more terrorism than governments of the right? Conflict Management and Peace Science 24 (4): 311–326.Google Scholar
  37. Koroļeva, I., and I. Mieriņa. 2015. Support for far right ideology and anti-migrant attitudes among youth in Europe: a comparative analysis. The Sociological Review 63 (2): 183–205.Google Scholar
  38. Laugharne, J., A. Janca, and T. Widiger. 2007. Posttraumatic stress disorder and terrorism: 5 years after 9/11/2001. Current Opinion in Psychiatry 20 (1): 36–41.Google Scholar
  39. Lis, P. 2013. Armed conflict, terrorism, and the allocation of foreign Aid. The Economics of Peace and Security Journal 8 (1): 12–17.Google Scholar
  40. Lubbers M., M. Gijsberts, and P. Scheepers. 2002. Extreme right-wing voting in Western Europe. European Journal of Political Research 41 (3): 345–378.Google Scholar
  41. Magnan, A., and J. Veugelers. 2005. Conditions of far-right strength in contemporary Western Europe: an application of Kitschelt’s theory. European Journal of Political Research 44 (6): 837–860.Google Scholar
  42. Mair, P., and C. Mudde. 1998. The party family and its study. Annual Review of Political Science 1 (1): 211–229.Google Scholar
  43. Marcus, G., R. Neuman, and M. MacKuen. 2000. Affective intelligence and political judgment. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  44. Marshall, M., and K. Jaggers. 2002. Polity IV dataset. College Park, MD, Center for International Development and Conflict Management, University of Maryland.Google Scholar
  45. Meguid, B. 2005. Competition between unequals: the role of mainstream party strategy in niche party success. American Political Science Review 99 (3): 347–359.Google Scholar
  46. Merolla, J., and E. Zechmeister. 2009. How terrorist threats affect the public. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  47. Meyer, T., and M. Wagner. 2017. The radical right as niche parties? The ideological landscape of party systems in Western Europe, 1980–2014. Political Studies 65 (1): 84–107.Google Scholar
  48. Mudde, C. 2007. Populist radical right parties in Europe. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  49. Mudde, C. 2013. Three decades of populist radical right parties in Western Europe: So what? European Journal of Political Research 52 (1): 1–19.Google Scholar
  50. Nail, P., I. McGregor, A. Drinkwater, G. Steele, and A. Thompson. 2009. Threat causes liberals to think like conservatives. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 45 (4): 901–907.Google Scholar
  51. Oltermann, P. 2017. AfD leaders vow to ‘hound Angela Merkel’ after strong showing at polls. The Guardian, September 24.Google Scholar
  52. Palmer, G., T. London, and P. Regan. 2004. What’s stopping you? The sources of political constraint on international behaviors in parliamentary democracies. International Interactions 30 (1): 1–24.Google Scholar
  53. Pardos-Prado, S. 2015. How can mainstream parties prevent niche party success? Center-right parties and the immigration issue. Journal of Politics 77 (2): 352–367.Google Scholar
  54. Petrocik, J. 1996. Issue ownership in presidential elections, with a 1980 case study. American Journal of Political Science 40 (3): 825–850.Google Scholar
  55. Reynié, D. 2016. “Heritage populism” and France’s National Front. Journal of Democracy 27 (4): 47–57.Google Scholar
  56. Robbins, J., L. Hunter, and G. Murray. 2013. Voters versus terrorists: analyzing the effect of terrorist events on voter turnout. Journal of Peace Research 50 (4): 495–508.Google Scholar
  57. Russett, B. 1990. Doves, hawks, and U.S. public opinion. Political Science Quarterly 105 (4): 515–539.Google Scholar
  58. Rydgren, J. 2004. Explaining the emergence of radical right-wing populist parties: the case of Denmark. West European Politics 27 (3): 474–502.Google Scholar
  59. Savun, B., and B. Phillips. 2009. Democracy, foreign policy and terrorism. Journal of Conflict Resolution 53 (6): 878–904.Google Scholar
  60. Schori Liang, C. 2007. Europe for the Europeans: the foreign and security policy of the populist radical right. In Europe for the Europeans: the foreign and security policy of the populist radical right, ed. Christina Schori Liang, 1–32. New York: Ashgate.Google Scholar
  61. Sinclair, S., and D. Antonious. 2012. The Psychology of terrorism. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  62. Vachudova, M. 2008. Centre-right parties and political outcomes in East Central Europe’. Party Politics 14 (4): 387–405.Google Scholar
  63. Weaver, M. 2017. Dutch elections: Rutte starts coalition talks after beating Wilders into second – as it happened. The Guardian, March 26.Google Scholar
  64. Wooldridge, J. 2002. Econometric analysis of cross-section and panel data. Cambridge: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  65. World Bank. 2018. World development indicators. Washington: World Bank.Google Scholar
  66. Younas, J., and T. Sandler. 2015. Gender imbalance and terrorism in developing countries. Journal of Conflict Resolution 61 (3): 484–510.Google Scholar
  67. Zielinski, J., K. Slomczynski, and G. Shabad. 2005. Electoral control in new democracies: the perverse incentives of fluid party systems. World Politics 57 (3): 365–395.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© European Consortium for Political Research 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • William Wheatley
    • 1
  • Joseph Robbins
    • 2
    Email author
  • Lance Y. Hunter
    • 3
  • Martha Humphries Ginn
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Government, Global Studies, and GeographyShepherd UniversityShepherdstownUSA
  2. 2.Department of Political ScienceValdosta State UniversityValdostaUSA
  3. 3.Department of Social SciencesAugusta UniversityAugustaUSA

Personalised recommendations