Political Entrepreneurs on New Cultural Issues: Green and Right Party Success in West European Policy Spaces

24.10.2022 - 12:00 bis 13:30
A 5,6 Raum A 231
Art der Veranstaltung: 
AB B-Kolloquium
Anna Kurella
Zugehörigkeit des Vortragenden: 
Universität Mannheim, MZES

Recent research suggests that small, especially radical right parties act as issue entrepreneurs in European multiparty systems, who strategically push the salience of secondary, cultural policy issues like immigration or European integration to restructure the policy space to their advantage. By competing with extreme positions on these new conflict lines they are assumed to gain electorally as salience increases. Existing research argues that parties are successful when they take extreme positions on the new dimension, and when the issue constraint within the party system is low, such that the pattern of competition differs from the etsablished dimensions. We contribute to this literature by taking the multidimensional nature of party competition into account. Based on the spatial model of party competition, we derive a general condition that is necessary for issue salience to exert a positive effect on pole parties’ vote shares: the new dimension must exhibit a larger voter potential than the established line of conflict. Only if this condition is met, entrepreneurial endeavors can be successful. Relying on data from the European Values Study, we analyze the electoral success of green and radical right parties since 1990 in 12 European countries. Results show that voter potential moderates the effect of issue salience on electoral success for both types of parties. We find weak and mixed results on extreme positions and low issue constraint. We also show that the voter potential on the environmental issue dimension declined since 2000, while that on the immigration issue dimension increased.