It’s not just where you stand, it’s how you got there: social pacts and manual worker support for radical right-wing parties
School of Government and International Affairs
We utilize the literature on social pacts to argue that governments can reduce manual worker support for the radical right by engaging in an inclusive process of decision-making with unions. Our analysis examines 11 Western European countries between 1999 and 2017 and employs a Heckman selection model. We find that when left or mainstream right governments complete social pact agreements, manual workers become less likely to support radical right-wing parties (RRPs); but when such governments fail to convert social pact proposals into social pact agreements, manual workers become more likely to support RRPs. We also find that social pact agreements have a greater effect on manual worker support for the radical right when they occur under mainstream right governments, but that failed social pact proposals have a greater effect on manual worker support for the radical right when they occur under left governments; and that the social pact formation process matters more for the RRP support of manual workers who belong to a union than those who do not. Our results suggest that manual worker support for the radical right is not only a function of issue voting or socioeconomic and policy outcomes, but also features of the policymaking process.
European Politics and Society
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