Converging to the mean? Moderating Ideologies of Far-Right Parties in Government


In recent history, the participation of far-right parties in government coalition has become quite a frequent occurrence in Europe. While much important work has been done analyzing the myriad effects of this quickening trend, one aspect of their participation remains unclear. What effect, if any, does serving in coalition government have on the far-right party itself? There are clearly many pressures exerted on far-right politicians post-transition to governor, as factions often develop between those who wish to maintain their far-right ideology and rhetoric, and those who instead feel a need to moderate and focus on competent governance. For a variety of strategic reasons, I argue in the aggregate we see far-right parties moderate while in office. I analyze thousands of European party manifestos and find robust evidence of post-coalition moderation. Party manifestos written by far-right parties in the aftermath of serving as a coalition partner tend to be much more moderate ideologically than manifestos published at any other point in time.


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