Extremism; Far-Right; Communism; Far-Left; Generational; Voting; Voting Behavior; Post-Communism; Eastern Europe; Parties
The rise of extremism in Europe is a growing concern, as far-right parties are entering parliament with unprecedented seat-shares, and some are even taking government. It has been established that the older generation is more likely to vote for either extreme and that Eastern Europeans are generally more likely to vote for the extreme, however this is an interesting phenomenon. Why are older people, with experience in a communist regime, so much more likely to support both the far-right and the far-left? The dominating theory explaining this is Inglehart's theory of post-materialism, and even though it has been updated in Inglehart (2018), it still does not explain the generational split over extremism when we introduce the post-communist variable. If Inglehart's theory held true, then the people who grew up in the East, under vastly different circumstances than those in the West, would exhibit entirely different voting patterns. However, looking at the data, the opposite is true--both the East and West have identical generational splits, with the older generation voting extremist, and the younger generation voting moderate. In this paper I will examine these short-comings using regression analysis over survey data from the Czech Republic, Hungary, the Netherlands, and Norway.
"Extremist Support Across Generational Lines Based on Post-Communist Developments: A Critique of Post-Materialism,"
Governance: The Political Science Journal at UNLV: Vol. 6
, Article 2.
Available at: https://digitalscholarship.unlv.edu/governance-unlv/vol6/iss1/2