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Social Stigma and Support for the Populist Radical Right: An Experimental Study

Journal article
Authors E. Harteveld
S. Dahlberg
Andrej Kokkonen
W. van der Brug
Published in Scandinavian Political Studies
Volume 42
Issue 3-4
Pages 296-307
ISSN 0080-6757
Publication year 2019
Published at Department of Political Science
Pages 296-307
Language en
Subject categories Political Science


The 'taboo' or 'stigma' associated with many populist radical right parties (PRRPs) has been argued to be an important constraint on their electoral success. In comparison to mainstream parties, there seems to be a higher barrier keeping voters from supporting PRRPs. However, this mechanism has not been tested directly. We conducted a randomized survey-embedded experiment manipulating the social stigma of a fictitious radical right party in Sweden. We compare three conditions. Two of these contain subtle signals about how other respondents feel about this party. In one condition the fictitious party is supported by many voters (the neutralizing condition) and in the other it is evaluated negatively by the overwhelming majority (the stigma condition). Both experimental groups do not differ significant from the control group in support for this fictitious party. However, the difference between the two experimental groups is borderline significant. This suggests that there is a causal effect of social stigma on support for a RRP, even though the evidence is rather tentative.

Page Manager: Webmaster|Last update: 9/11/2012

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