Published: July 13, 2020

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About the book: Who votes for radical right parties and why? This book argues that the increasing popularity of the radical right in Europe originates in community bonds: strong ties to one's locality motivate support for the radical right. These parties use nostalgic themes and symbolic politicking to idealize community, defend local autonomy, and ultimately draw local identity into the electoral realm. While other explanations of the radical right's popularity typify supporters as victims of macro-economic shifts and strains, the author's account explores people's day-to-day experiences that link local connections to political decisions. The analysis also raises questions about the political implications of different formal authority structures such as the level and nature of power devolved to local units. The localist model of radical right support illuminates the psychological, social, and institutional conditions and processes that render people's feelings about their cities, towns, and villages relevant for politics.

About the author: Jennifer Fitzgerald is an Associate Professor of Political Science. Her research focuses on comparative political behavior, with a specialization in advanced industrial democracies. She studies the factors that shape vote choices, partisan orientations and various political attitudes. Specific projects investigate support for radical right and green parties in Western Europe, attitudes toward immigrants in Europe, and political interest and party support among young people in Europe. More thematically, a shared feature of her various works is an emphasis on the impact of context. Specific contexts of interest include the household, local communities and broader political administrative units. 

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