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Crisis and extremism: can a powerful extreme right emerge in a modern democracy? Evidence from Greece’s Golden Dawn

Roumanias, Costas, Skouras, Spyros and Christodoulakis, Nicos (2018) Crisis and extremism: can a powerful extreme right emerge in a modern democracy? Evidence from Greece’s Golden Dawn. Hellenic Observatory Papers on Greece and Southeast Europe (126). Hellenic Observatory, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.

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By local and international standards, Golden Dawn (GD) is at the far end of Extreme Right, yet it has emerged as Greece’s third largest party, gaining most of its electoral support within months, in early 2012. Its electoral rise has been attributed to the severe economic crisis the country had previously and since experienced. We investigate this remarkable case study econometrically, using both panel vote-share, and individual vote-intent regressions. Dramatic changes in parameters provide congruent evidence that GD’s success was due to a change in voter behaviour, rather than changes in individual characteristics or contextual conditions. Around one third of this change was due to GD’s success in taking ownership of the previously ownerless niche issues of immigration and law-and-order; the remaining change is attributed to its success in attracting financially distressed voters and voters fitting a typical Extreme Right demographic. Auxiliary evidence suggests this change was driven by a massive realignment of voters fleeing mainstream parties, after a coalition government imposed harsh austerity measures.

Item Type: Monograph (Discussion Paper)
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2018 The Authors
Divisions: Hellenic Observatory
Subjects: J Political Science > JC Political theory
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)
Sets: Research centres and groups > Hellenic Observatory
Collections > GreeSE: Hellenic Observatory papers on Greece and Southeast Europe
Date Deposited: 27 Jun 2018 11:17
Last Modified: 14 May 2021 11:48

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