Institut for Statskundskab

Ethnicity Coding Revisited: Right-Wing Parties as Catalysts for Mobilization Against Immigrant Welfare Rights

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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.

TidsskriftScandinavian Political Studies
Sider (fra-til)93-117
Antal sider25
StatusUdgivet - 2019

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