Document Type

Thesis

Publication Date

2014

Abstract

Over the last twenty-five years, right wing populist parties (RPPs) have become much more popular across Europe, even becoming the most popular parties in a select few countries. These parties run on a platform of being staunchly against immigration and multiculturalism, and are reactionary in general to any kind of social change. In this thesis I try to answer just why right wing populist parties have seen their popularity increase so dramatically over a relatively short amount of time. To do this, I will study shifts in voting behavior and voter attitudes across Europe by examining election results and survey data. I will also examine the effect that electoral systems have on the success or failure of a right wing populist party. Through quantitative and qualitative analysis, I will to identify the primary causes of the success of right wing populist parties.

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