Take the Streets or Take the Parliament? Political Participation Choices for Radical Left (Non-)Voters

Note long: 
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30.11.2020 - 12:00
Online via Zoom
Art der Veranstaltung: 
AB B-Kolloquium
Dr. Svenja Krauss
Zugehörigkeit des Vortragenden: 
University of Essex

During the last couple of years, voters across Europe have become increasingly
polarized on both ends of the political spectrum. While radical right parties were able
to mobilize voters on their salient topics, radical left parties were only sporadically
successful. In this paper, we analyse why radical left parties largely fail to benefit from
increasing polarization by examining their potential voter base. Based on the literature,
the typical radical left voter is characterised by low trust in the government and other state
organisations (e.g. police) as well as an increased civic engagement. Hence, they should
have a lower incentive to participate in elections in order to change the status quo. Rather,
they should engage in status-quo-busting grassroots activities. We therefore hypothesize
that radical left voters are more likely to choose other forms of political participation
(i.e. boycotts and demonstrations) instead of taking part in elections. Our hypothesis
is put to an empirical test by relying on data provided by the European Social Survey.
We include respondents from twelve Western European countries from the latest round
of the ESS (Round 9). The results have important implications for our understanding of
the demand side of the populist wave.