Right-wing populism and social distance towards Muslims in Sweden: Results from a nation-wide vignette study
2014 (English)Report (Other academic)
New right-wing extremist parties all over Europe have been described as adopting a master framethat combines xenophobia and anti-political establishment populism (Rydgren 2004). In Sweden the Sweden Democrats (Sverigedemokraterna, SD) have emerged as the dominating newright-wing extremist party that was able to more than double their share of votes from the 2010 tothe 2014 parliamentary elections (2010: 5.7%, 2014: 12.9%). We conducted a vignette study in arepresentative sample of the Swedish population shortly before and after the 2014 nationalelections, which helps us to analyse the social distance between the majority population and theMuslim minority. We are explicitly taking into account the prevalence of right-wing populistattitudes in the population and their support for SD in the 2010 and 2014 elections. Our resultsshow that; (1) anti-minority attitudes (held by 36% of the population) but not anti-establishmentattitudes (held by 37% of the population) predict increased social distance to Muslims and eventowards persons that are only presented as having a foreign name, (2) SD voters hold drasticallymore negative views about Muslims than does any other voter group, (3) the vote for SD is purelydriven by anti-minority sentiments, not anti-establishmentarism. In conclusion, while SD mightpresent its cause in the language of anti-establishment populism and their voters mightlegitimise their voting choice by this principle, SD voters’ intentions are fundamentallyrooted in xenophobia.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2014. , 18 p.
Right-wing extremism; right-wing populism; xenophobia; Islamophobia
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-113121OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-113121DiVA: diva2:778393
ProjectsAnalytical Sociology: Theoretical Developments and Empirical Research
FunderEU, FP7, Seventh Framework Programme, 324233