Populist Radical-Right Junior Coalition Partners and Liberal Democracy


While many argue populist radical-right parties to be the largest contemporary threat to democracy, much of the evidence either focuses on the rare case of a populist radical-right prime minister, or conflates right-populist prime ministers with right-populist government participation, with some asserting that it would be difficult for these parties to have any real effect without holding the prime ministership. In this paper I conduct a large-scale analysis of European nations over-time to quantify the effect right-populist junior coalition partners have on liberal democracy. I argue that as junior coalition partners, they will indeed affect democratic quality, albeit in ways that differ from that of a right-populist prime minister. While previous literature has demonstrated that populist radical-right parties bring with them decreases in the level of democratic quality pertaining to institutional constraints on power and mass civil liberties, junior coalition partners are only able to effect the latter.


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