Challenges of Radical Left and Left-wing Populist Parties for Party Competition and Coalition Politics in Western Europe

Research question/goal: 

The prominence of radical and populist parties has increased in Western European party systems over the past few decades. Though we have seen a substantial increase in academic literature on the radical right party family, we have yet to understand the role of radical left parties in a systematic cross-sectional approach. The more polarised political systems become, the more important it is to carefully disentangle the influence radical parties can have on the individual and party level. This research proposes studying radical left parties on both the national and the subnational level in selected Western European countries—Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, and Sweden—to analyse their influence on the programmatic strategies of competing parties and on coalition politics. This project collects and evaluates party manifestos and social media data to analyse internal conflicts of radical left parties and their influence on party competition and coalition politics.

Current stage: 

Our analyses currently focus specifically on radical left party responses to radical right success. To this end, three countries have been selected (Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden), whose national, subnational and local level will be analysed. A grant proposal for research specifically on this issue is in preparation. The results of our research were presented at the MPSA conference in Chicago and at the European Political Science Association in Glasgow and have been submitted for publication.

Fact sheet

2022 to 2026
in preparation
Data Sources: 
party manifesto data, social media data
Geographic Space: 
Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden