Does Right-Wing Violence Affect Public Support for Radical Right Parties? Evidence from Germany

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Abstract

This article examines whether citizens’ political preferences toward radical right parties (RRPs) change after right-wing extremist violent attacks. It investigates this question in two ways. First, it presents a time-series study on public support for the RRP Alternative for Germany (AfD) between 2013 and 2019. Second, the article employs a quasi-experimental research design to examine the effect of a right-wing terrorist attack on citizens’ attitudes toward immigrants. Both studies indicate that public support for the AfD and its programmatic core positions increased after right-wing extremist attacks. Subsequent analyses suggest that former voters of the mainstream right, in particular, drive this effect. These findings shed light on the determinants of radical right party support, contributing to the long-standing debate on the consequences of political violence.

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Krause, W., & Matsunaga, M. (2023). Does Right-Wing Violence Affect Public Support for Radical Right Parties? Evidence from Germany. Comparative Political Studies, 56(14), 2269–2305. https://doi.org/10.1177/00104140231169021

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