Roberts, Kenneth : Seed Grant, 2015-2016


Kenneth Roberts (Government)

Arts & Sciences
Project Title: 
Parties, Movements, and Populism: The Political Effects of Economic Crisis in Southern Europe
Project Abstract: 
This project explores the political impact of the post-2008 European economic crisis on party systems in the region. In particular, it seeks to explain why traditional parties continue to dominate the electoral arena in some countries, while in others they have been seriously challenged by new populist or movement-based parties on the left or right flanks of the party system. The project starts with a European-wide statistical analysis of the economic correlates of electoral stability and volatility since 2000, testing both conventional economic voting hypotheses as well rival hypotheses related to the destabilizing effects of austerity and adjustment measures that de-align partisan competition programmatically. The second component of this project involves a small-N comparative analysis of party system change and continuity in the four major southern European cases—Spain, Portugal, Greece, and Italy. These four cases provide theoretical leverage to isolate the causal effects of different partisan reform alignments in otherwise similar patterns of economic crisis and austerity. The project is designed to generate a series of articles and a book manuscript on the Southern European cases.