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Ethnicity coding revisited: right-wing parties as catalysts for mobilization against immigrant welfare rights

Arndt, C. and Thomsen, J. P. F. (2019) Ethnicity coding revisited: right-wing parties as catalysts for mobilization against immigrant welfare rights. Scandinavian Political Studies, 42 (2). pp. 93-117. ISSN 1467-9477

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1111/1467-9477.12145


Ethnicity coding means that threat-based views of ethnic minority members spur opposition to specific welfare programmes. To advance knowledge of the influence of political parties on ethnicity coding, we apply a dynamic approach. Longitudinal analyses show that: a) because right-wing political parties persistently frame state pensions as benefitting native majority members, a perceived ethnic threat increases support for this welfare scheme, and b) a perceived ethnic threat reduces support for social assistance when right-wing political parties frame it as favouring immigrants. Extending these findings, we show that opposition to immigrant welfare rights prompts electoral realignment, as left-wing voters increasingly switch to right-wing parties. More generally, political parties are capable of stimulating opposition to parts of the welfare state, including electoral mobilization against immigrant welfare rights. We utilize unusually rich mass-level survey data from Denmark, covering a 25-year period (1990‒2015). The broader implications of our findings for theories of ethnicity coding, political elite persuasion, and welfare state development are discussed in the conclusion.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Politics, Economics and International Relations > Politics and International Relations
ID Code:84415


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