Left and Right on Immigration and Welfare: Representations of the immigration / welfare quandary in party programs in Scandinavia
Institute for Social Research, Norway
The Scandinavian countries Norway, Sweden and Denmark are typically grouped together in welfare state studies. In immigration and integration policies, however, their approaches have parted in fundamental ways. Levels of immigration to these countries are high, both from EU-countries and from countries in Africa and Asia, and this inflow of new residents will undeniably influence how the welfare states operate. In all three countries, the challenges and opportunities immigration poses for the “social-democratic” welfare state feed into debates on immigration control and integration, but in different ways. In this paper, we analyse the party programs of the left-of-Labour socialist parties, and the right-of-Conservative / populist right parties, in the three countries, to see how they conceptualise the immigration / welfare nexus. These parties are selected for their historically strong commitment to welfare expansion and immigration control respectively, and also to show the variety in the opposition to the consensus in the three countries. The analysis will show that there is a wide variety: concerns for “social dumping” in the light of labour migration, for institutionalised racism, for worklessness and welfare state dependency, for “multiculturalism” as a threat to the sense of trust that (allegedly) underpins the Scandinavian welfare model. The paper concludes that “left” and “right” stances on the immigration / welfare quandary are multifaceted and vary between countries, even when similar cases are studied.
Left-right Ideological Self-placement In Seven Democracies, 2006-2013
1Stellenbosch University, South Africa; 2Valencia University, Spain
Ideology in most Western societies, is seen as the driving force behind political behaviour. It has been related to, amongst other things, economic inequality, state intervention in the economy, party identification, moral values and, more recently, to post-materialist values. It is also argued that the general public has a perception of this concept- ideology- similar to the conception of the political elites. This paper analyses the left-right continuum at the parliamentary (elite) and mass levels in seven countries – two consolidated democracies and four consolidating democracies . It investigates: i) the basis of left-right self-placement (values vs partisanship); ii) whether elites and citizens share the same “drivers” underpinning ideology; and iii) whether there have been any changes in these drivers as a consequence of the 2007-2008 financial crisis. The study is a quantitative analysis making extensive use of World Values Survey data and political elite surveys in the respective countries. Findings indicate that both elites and masses concentrate in moderate positions both before and after the crisis; citizens do not follow elites when explaining left-right self-placement; and, the financial crisis has made elites move toward the right and the public toward the left. Before the crisis citizens used to base their position on the scale on partisanship more so than values (mainly economic issues). After the crisis values (mainly economic issues) surpassed partisanship. Elite placements both in 2006 and in 2013 were mainly based on values (economic issues more than moral ones).
Social Causes of Ethnic Parties Formation in Nepal
Tribhuvan University, Saraswati Multiple Campus, Nepal
The paper intends to explore the social structural causes and conditions of ethnic party formation in the Nepali context. The paper argues that the ethnic political parties (EPs), like other kinds of political parties, are one of the manifest products of the social, political and economic structure of the society and their social foundation of formation is different than non-ethnic parties. In Nepal, despite having a number of national political parties, the formation of ethnic parties have been growing in number with democratic practices after 1990 and intensifying after the political transition of 2006. Therefore, the paper deals with a key question: why ethnic parties form? To answer the question, the paper explores that there are multiple factors like multi-ethnic society and non-inclusive state and party structure; democracy and indigenous social movement; failure of existing political parties to address the ethnic concern; rise of new issues such as identity, federalism and proportional representation; and legal-structural changes with international factors which are responsible for the ethnic parties formation. The paper concludes that the EPs, as a manifest product of democracy, are contributing to the process of democratization in Nepal. In that sense, the rise of ethnic parties is essentially a social phenomenon rooted in the multicultural society of Nepal. The analysis is based on qualitative and quantitative data collected through keen observations, in-depth interview with purposefully selected key informants and required secondary information.
What Went Wrong with the Theories of Moderation and What Does the AKP Case of Turkey Show Us?
Anglo-American University, Czech Republic
The core idea of party moderation implies a party's embracement of open worldviews that do not contradict democratic principles and compromise with other actors. While much has been written on the factors leading to the moderation of Islamist parties, little is known why such moderation does not sustain or why de-moderation is likely to follow afterwards. In this paper, I apply the method of process-tracing in explaining the transitions between the stages of pre-moderation, moderation and de-moderation of an Islamist party. I argue that when an Islamist party adopts a confrontational discourse and behavior against the repressive state, it transforms into a democratic actor, which represents the transition from pre-moderation to moderation. During the stage of moderation, the party also attracts a heterogeneous group of supporters within the electorate who have either been the victims or the critics of state repression. When the repressive state disappears from the political stage, yet, the Islamist party loses a salient issue that unites this diverse body of supporters. The party instead starts using reward and punishment mechanisms to sustain the loyalty of its supporters. This depicts the transition from the stage of moderation to the stage of de-moderation. To illustrate the proposed explanation, I focus on the case of the AKP in Turkey and use interview data conducted with the AKP activists in the summer of 2018.