Skip navigation
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title: Essays on Contemporary European Politics
Authors: Chou, Winston
Advisors: Dancygier, Rafaela M
Contributors: Politics Department
Keywords: European politics
radical right
survey methodology
Subjects: Political science
Issue Date: 2019
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: This dissertation collects four essays on transformative developments in contemporary European politics. These include the polarization of European party systems, exemplified by the rise of outsider parties at the fringes of the political spectrum; the loosening of traditional partisan bonds; the erosion of the political center; and social polarization, driven by the politicization of Europeanization, immigration, and national identity. The first essay, Bad Times or Bad Types?, examines the rise of the populist right in Europe through the prism of local politics in France. Examining a natural experiment involving wrongheaded financial decisions by local governments, it shows that populist voting can be a mechanism of elite accountability -- albeit one that is imperfect and conditioned by access to information. The second essay, The Distortionary Effects of Turnout Inequality, examines the implications of the political dealignment of working-class voters for electoral outcomes and party strategy in contemporary German politics. It questions the longstanding belief that turnout inequality -- the lower propensity for younger, less-educated, and lower-income respondents to vote -- systematically disadvantages Left parties. Drawing on an original survey and experiment, it shows that nonvoters in Germany are indeed poorer and less-educated than the electorate, but that they are also significantly more xenophobic than supporters of Left parties. Taking a broader view, the third essay, Party Strategy After Social Democracy, counterposes two explanations for the decline of Left parties in Western Europe. These include (1) steadily diverging preferences between the Left's two traditional constituencies, middle- and working-class voters; and (2) the strategic decision of many Left parties to moderate in order to pursue more middle-class voters. It amasses historical and contemporary survey evidence to show that the decline of Left parties is structural rather than strategic in nature. The dissertation closes with a fourth essay, Lying on Surveys. This essay is unique in that it is mainly a contribution to political methodology, albeit with an application to survey data from Europe. In this chapter, I develop new statistical tools for measuring misreporting on surveys and apply them to a survey experiment conducted among radical right voters in Germany.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog:
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Politics

Files in This Item:
This content is embargoed until 2021-04-15. For more information contact the Mudd Manuscript Library.

Items in Dataspace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.