Parties beyond the Pale: Why some political parties are ostracized by their competitors while others are not
Title: Parties beyond the Pale: Why some political parties are ostracized by their competitors while others are not
Author: VAN SPANJE, Joost
Citation: Comparative European Politics, 2010, 8, 3, 354-383
Since the 1960s, anti-immigration parties have emerged in many established European democracies. Some of them - for example, the German Republikaner and the Vlaams Belang in Belgium - have been treated as pariahs by other parties. Others – for example, the Lega Nord in Italy and the Dutch Partij voor de Vrijheid – have not. Why is this? In this paper I argue that other parties are likely to ostracize an anti-immigration party if they do not need to cooperate with it anyway. They are even more likely to do so if they can convincingly make the case that its ideologies are outside agreed standards of acceptability. Through logistic regression analyses based on data concerning 31 Western European anti-immigration parties, I demonstrate that a party's size and ideological profile are major factors accounting for its treatment as a pariah. The findings offer important insights about the applicability of the commonly used strategy of ostracism, which has previously been shown to affect coalition building in established democracies.
Subject: inter-party strategy; anti-immigration party; ostracism; party ideology; Western Europe
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