political parties

Most populist radical right parties across Europe are not eager to leave the EU

Most populist radical right parties across Europe are not eager to leave the EU

After the 2016 Brexit referendum, there was speculation that other Eurosceptic parties across the EU would try to capitalise on the result and advocate their own countries’ exit. However, Stijn van Kessel finds that any initial enthusiasm among populist radical right parties for EU-exit quickly faded, and most have been muted or equivocal in their Euroscepticism, concentrating instead on more immediate concerns of voters, who generally do not prioritise the EU.

The case of Fratelli d’Italia: how radical-right populists in Italy and beyond are building global networks

The case of Fratelli d’Italia: how radical-right populists in Italy and beyond are building global networks

With several parties in Italy competing on the right and far right, Valerio Alfonso Bruno and James F. Downes look at the recent growth in support for Fratelli d’Italia. They argue that this party is building domestic support, along with a network of contacts of likeminded populist radical right actors globally, which demonstrates the increased mainstreaming of populist radical right ideas in liberal democracies.

How will the ‘Sinn Féin surge’ change Irish politics?

How will the ‘Sinn Féin surge’ change Irish politics?

Professor James Hughes examines the historical context of the recent Irish election and what the result means for the future of politics on both sides of the border.

What can political parties do to involve more women in party politics?

What can political parties do to involve more women in party politics?

In most political parties the majority of members are men, which has implications for achieving equal representation at all levels of politics. Aldo F. Ponce, Susan E. Scarrow and Susan Achury find that this gender gap varies considerably between parties, and that having more women MPs helps to increase women’s participation at the grassroots level.

How sexuality affects the choices of voters across Europe

How sexuality affects the choices of voters across Europe

Drawing on a new study, Stuart J. Turnbull-Dugarte demonstrates that sexuality has a significant impact on political behaviour across western Europe, with lesbian, gay and bisexual voters far more likely to back parties on the left.

Citizens with economically left-wing and culturally right-wing views vote less and are less satisfied with politics

Citizens with economically left-wing and culturally right-wing views vote less and are less satisfied with politics

Many citizens hold left-wing positions on economic issues and right-wing positions on cultural issues, but few parties do so. How do these ‘left-authoritarian’ citizens react to the absence of parties that fit their views? Drawing on a new study, Sven Hillen and Nils Steiner report that left-authoritarian citizens are less likely to vote, less satisfied with democracy and have lower levels of trust in political institutions when there is no viable left-authoritarian party.

The empty centre: why the Liberal Democrats need to demonstrate competence and unity to win votes

The empty centre: why the Liberal Democrats need to demonstrate competence and unity to win votes

Liberal parties in western democracies which advocate broadly centrist economic policies, such as the Liberal Democrats, have performed badly in some recent elections, even though their policies are often in tune with a large proportion of the electorate. Using survey data Roi Zur finds they have little scope for winning votes by shifting in either direction on the left-right spectrum. Instead they need to demonstrate they are a credible and competent governing party, able to prevent Brexit, and are not just expressing their opposition to it.

Citizens (mistakenly) perceive female-led political parties as more moderate

Citizens (mistakenly) perceive female-led political parties as more moderate

Does women’s leadership affect citizens’ perceptions of political parties? Diana Z. O’Brien shows that female-led parties are perceived as more moderate than male-led organisations, even though election manifestos authored by these parties are actually slightly more extreme than those by male-led parties.

Is the resurgence of Europe’s far-right a cultural or an economic phenomenon?

Is the resurgence of Europe’s far-right a cultural or an economic phenomenon?

There has been a spectacular rise in support for far-right parties in Europe over the last two decades, but what has driven this electoral success? Drawing on new research, Vasiliki Georgiadou, Lamprini Rori and Costas Roumanias demonstrate that different types of far-right party have benefitted from different factors: economic insecurity has helped increase support for ‘extremist right’ parties, while cultural factors have been associated with the growth of the ‘populist radical right’.

Whatever happened to the Westminster Model? The ‘Italianisation’ of British politics

Whatever happened to the Westminster Model? The ‘Italianisation’ of British politics

The UK was once viewed by political scientists as embodying a distinct majoritarian form of politics – the ‘Westminster Model’ – that stood in contrast to the ‘consensus’ democracies found elsewhere in Europe. Several of the countries in the latter group, such as Italy, were often assumed to be inherently prone to instability in comparison to the UK. Yet as Martin J. Bull explains, politics in Westminster now has some striking similarities with the Italian approach that once invited scorn from British observers.