Contagious Parties: Anti-Immigration Parties and Their Impact on Other Parties’ Immigration Stances in Contemporary Western Europe
Title: Contagious Parties: Anti-Immigration Parties and Their Impact on Other Parties’ Immigration Stances in Contemporary Western Europe
Author: VAN SPANJE, Joost
Citation: Party Politics, 2010, 16, 5, 563-586
Anti-immigration parties have experienced electoral lift-off in most Western democracies, although the consequences of their victories for real-life policy outcomes have remained largely unexplored. A key question is: do electoral pressures from anti-immigration parties have a ‘contagion’ impact on other parties’ immigration policy positions? In this article, I argue and empirically demonstrate that this is the case. On the basis of a comparative-empirical study of 75 parties in 11 Western European countries, I conclude that this contagion effect involves entire party systems rather than the mainstream right only. In addition, I find that opposition parties are more vulnerable to this contagion effect than parties in government. The findings of this article imply that anti-immigration parties are able to influence policy output in their political systems without entering government.
Subject: anti-immigration; parties; elections; immigration; Western Europe
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