Gender Differences in Support for Radical Right, Anti- Immigrant Political Parties (Working Paper #6)

Terrie E. Givens, University of Washington

Summary: The rise of radical right parties in Western Europe has led to the politicization of issues such as immigration, making them more salient to voters. The radical right has been skillful in some countries in using the issues of immigration and unemployment to increase its vote share. In using immigration as an issue, radical right parties, particularly in France and Austria, have been able to attract mainly young male voters, who are often referred to as “modernization losers.”

Although the radical right has been successful in some countries, there has been an ongoing gender gap in the vote for radical right parties. The electorates of radical right parties are predominantly male. In this paper I will explore two reasons for this gap. The overall hypothesis is that the anti-immigrant positions these parties take are not attractive to women. First, this may be due to different attitudes women may have toward immigrants. Second, women may be in jobs in which they are less likely to feel threatened by globalization or immigration.

Working Paper #6»