Do Changes in Material Circumstances Drive Support for Populist Radical Parties? Panel Data Evidence from the Netherlands during the Great Recession, 2007-2015

Noam Gidron*, Jonathan J.B. Mijs

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations

Abstract

Political developments since the 2008 financial crisis have sparked renewed interest in the electoral implications of economic downturns. Research describes a correlation between adverse economic conditions and support for radical parties campaigning on the populist promise to retake the country from a corrupt elite. But does the success of radical parties following economic crises rely on people who are directly affected? To answer this question, we examine whether individual-level changes in economic circumstances drive support for radical parties across the ideological divide. Analysing eight waves of panel data collected in the Netherlands, before, during, and after the Great Recession (2007-2015), we demonstrate that people who experienced an income loss became more supportive of the radical left but not of the radical right. Looking at these parties' core concerns, we find that income loss increased support for income redistribution championed by the radical left, but less so for the anti-immigration policies championed by the radical right. Our study establishes more directly than extant research the micro-foundations of support for radical parties across the ideological divide.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)637-650
Number of pages14
JournalEuropean Sociological Review
Volume35
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 The Author(s) 2019. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: [email protected].

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