Authoritarian values and the welfare state: The social policy preferences of radical right voters

Marius Busemeyer, Philip Rathgeb, Alexander Sahm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

What kind of welfare state do voters of populist radical right parties (PRRPs) want and how do their preferences differ from voters of mainstream left- and right-wing parties? In this paper, we draw on an original, representative survey of public opinion on education and related social policies in eight Western European countries to measure (1) support for social transfers, (2) support for workfare and (3) support for social investment. Challenging the view that PRRPs turned into pro-welfare parties, our results indicate that their voters want a particularistic-authoritarian welfare state, displaying moderate support only for ‘deserving’ benefit recipients (e.g. the elderly), while revealing strong support for a workfare approach and little support for social investment. These findings have important implications for contemporary debates about the future of capitalism and the welfare state.
Original languageEnglish
JournalWest European Politics
Early online date2 Mar 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2 Mar 2021

Keywords

  • radical right parties
  • populism
  • authoritarianism
  • welfare states
  • social investment

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