How have secularisation and educational expansion affected support for the mainstream right in Western Europe?



Gomez, Raul
(2022) How have secularisation and educational expansion affected support for the mainstream right in Western Europe? WEST EUROPEAN POLITICS, 47 (2). pp. 229-254.

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Abstract

While the electoral decline of Social democracy has received considerable attention in the literature, much less is known about how the structural changes experienced by advanced capitalist societies in the past decades have affected support for the mainstream right. In order to fill this gap, this article examines the relationship between secularisation, educational expansion and support for Conservative and Christian democratic parties in 18 West European democracies since the 1960s. The analysis reveals that secularisation is negatively associated with support for the mainstream right, but the effect is only significant for Christian democratic parties. Moreover, the findings support the expectation that social conservatism tends to damage the electoral prospects of mainstream right parties in highly educated societies. This suggests that, although engaging in cultural wars might sometimes seem like a winning strategy in the short term, it is unlikely to produce long-term positive electoral returns for the centre-right in post-industrial contexts.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Mainstream right, education, secularisation, elections, Christian democratic parties, conservative parties
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 14 Nov 2022 09:27
Last Modified: 13 Nov 2023 03:35
DOI: 10.1080/01402382.2022.2150943
Related URLs:
URI: https://livrepository.liverpool.ac.uk/id/eprint/3166186