How the populist radical right exploits crisis : Comparing the role of proximity in the COVID-19 and refugee crises in Germany

Journal article


Hinterleitner, Markus, Kammermeier, Valentina and Moffitt, Benjamin. (2023). How the populist radical right exploits crisis : Comparing the role of proximity in the COVID-19 and refugee crises in Germany. West European Politics. pp. 1-26. https://doi.org/10.1080/01402382.2023.2275892
AuthorsHinterleitner, Markus, Kammermeier, Valentina and Moffitt, Benjamin
Abstract

This article studies the conditions required by populist radical right actors to convincingly create a sense of crisis. The article draws on the literature on political blame games and policy feedback to argue that it is not only the salience of an event that determines its ‘populist exploitability’, but also its proximity to mass publics – or more simply, how directly and closely it affects citizens. In the study, Moffitt’s stepwise model of populist crisis performance is extended and expectations are formulated regarding how the proximity of an event influences the various steps of crisis performance. The article then tests this theoretical argument with a within-unit analysis of the crisis performance of a populist radical right party, the Alternative for Germany (AfD), during the refugee crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic. The analysis suggests that the pandemic’s proximity to people’s daily lives narrowed and complicated the AfD’s crisis performance in important ways. The article sheds light on the determinants of the success of populist radical right parties and nuances our understanding of the broader relationship between populism and crisis.

Keywordspopulism; populist radical right; crisis; blame games; proximity
Year2023
JournalWest European Politics
Journal citationpp. 1-26
PublisherRoutledge
ISSN1743-9655
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1080/01402382.2023.2275892
Open accessPublished as ‘gold’ (paid) open access
Page range1-26
FunderAustralian Research Council (ARC)
Publisher's version
License
File Access Level
Open
Output statusIn press
Publication dates
Online21 Nov 2023
Publication process dates
Deposited24 Nov 2023
ARC Funded ResearchThis output has been funded, wholly or partially, under the Australian Research Council Act 2001
Grant IDDE190101127
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