The affective model of far-right vote in Europe: Anger, political trust and immigration

Cengiz Erisen*, Sofia Vasilopoulou

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: This study demonstrates that voting for the far right has a central affective dimension within the domain of immigration, the effect of which relies on the level of trust one has toward political institutions and equally colors one's estimation of threat. Methods: We use representative data from two studies across three countries (Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom) at two time points (2015 and 2019). Results: We first show that anger, rather than fear, constitutes the emotional mechanism underpinning the relationship between anti-immigration attitudes and support for the far right. Second, anger is associated more strongly with far-right voting among those with lower levels of political trust. Third, anger affects how individuals seek out and process information about immigration, resulting in the overestimation of the perceived threat. Conclusion: These findings shed light on a key puzzle of electoral behavior: Why do some citizens with anti-immigrant attitudes opt for radical politics, whereas others do not.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)635-648
Number of pages14
JournalSOCIAL SCIENCE QUARTERLY
Volume103
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2022

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