Religion as catalyst or restraint of radical right voting?
until further notice
SourceWest European Politics, 36, 5, (2013), pp. 946-968
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ RSCR SOC
West European Politics
SubjectInequality Cohesion Rationalization; Ongelijkheid Cohesie Rationalisatie
It is often found that religious people are underrepresented among the radical right electorate, despite radical right parties’ claim of being defenders of the Judeo-Christian society. This study investigates this paradoxical finding and examines to what extent two dimensions of religion – practice and belief – play a role in voting for a radical right party across seven West European countries. Using the European Values Study from 2008, it was found that religiously active people are indeed less likely to vote for a radical right party, because they tend to vote for a Christian party. However, the study challenges the common wisdom that religion alone is a restraint on radical right voting and shows that orthodox believers in three countries – Belgium, Norway and Switzerland – feel more threatened by the presence of immigrants and therefore are more likely than their mainstream counterparts to vote for a radical right party.
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