Zhen Jie Im
Welfare chauvinism in times of labour market segmentation: how different employment contracts moderate the impact of welfare chauvinism on support for radical right parties
I examine how different employment contracts moderate the impact of welfare chauvinist preferences on radical right support. Welfare chauvinism has become a cornerstone of radical right’s nativist electoral programme. Yet, there are mixed findings on how welfare chauvinist preferences affect radical right support. While some studies find a positive association, others find little correlation. One reason for such ambiguity is: voters who support welfare chauvinism may prioritise other competing issue preferences. They may thus vote for other parties, even if such parties do not offer welfare chauvinist programmes. From this perspective, the crucial question is: under what conditions do voters who support welfare chauvinism prefer the radical right? Among other reasons, I argue that they may do so when they experience economic risk from insecure employment contracts. Differences in employment protection legislation strictness for different employment contracts yield differences in employment security for these different contracts. Using cross-national data from the European Social Survey (Rounds 1 and 7), I find that employed workers, who support welfare chauvinism and have temporary contracts, vote most for radical right parties. I regard this finding as evidence that voters supporting welfare chauvinism prefer radical right parties under conditions of employment insecurity.