Date: May 2003
Creator: Smith, Jason Matthew
Description: Three models are developed to analyze the state level conditions fostering the rise of far right parties in the European Union in the last two decades. The political background of these parties is examined. This study offers a definition for far right parties, which combines several previous attempts. The research has focused on the effects of the number of the parties, immigration, and unemployment on support for the far right in Europe. Empirical tests, using a random effects model of fifty elections in eight nations, suggest that there are political, social, and economic conditions that are conducive to electoral success. Specifically, increases in the number of "effective" parties favor the far right, while electoral thresholds serve to dampen support. Immigration proves to be a significant variable. Surprisingly, changes in crime and unemployment rates have a negative effect on support for the far right. Suggestions for future research are offered.
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