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Ideological (mis)match? Mapping extreme right ideological discourse and voter preferences.

Harrison, Sarah (2010) Ideological (mis)match? Mapping extreme right ideological discourse and voter preferences. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science (United Kingdom).

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Abstract

The existing literature has long mused over the questions of who belongs and who does not belong to the extreme right party family, as well as why some extreme right parties seem to be consistently - or occasionally - more successful than others. For decades, scholars have failed to reach a consensus regarding the definition of the extreme right, used a plethora of labels to describe it, and disagreed on the defining characteristics of the party family. In order to progress from this conundrum, this thesis explores the question of whether and how the extreme right can be defined as a multi-dimensional party family based on two strategic-discursive dimensions, and the extent to which the location of each individual member of the extreme right family will affect the number and the nature of the voters whom they will attract. This question is answered - and resulting model tested - in Great Britain, Germany, and France. The thesis combines a variety of quantitative and qualitative methods including text analysis of party manifestoes, face-to-face interviews of extreme right party elites (in two countries), and analysis of survey data. Our model stipulates that extreme right parties emphasise different conceptions of an authoritarian dimension (ranging from a social/reactionary to an institutional/repressive pole) and a negative conception of identity (spanning from a civic/populist to a cultural/xenophobic scale). Based on this bi-dimensional conceptual map, four dominant sub-types of extreme right parties can be identified, all of which are represented in the three party systems, and evidenced by both party manifestoes and elites ' discourse. We also show that the different positions espoused by each party have an impact on the ideological identity of the party, intra-extreme right party competition, the types of voters each party attracts and ultimately, the level of electoral success it obtains.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Political Science, General
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses
Departments > Government
URI: http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/3028

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