New Political Parties and Democratic Satisfaction after Europe's Financial and Migrant Crises

Bonsall, Sally, Foreign Affairs - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Virginia
Mershon, Carol, AS-Politics (POLI), University of Virginia

Why have political party systems in Western Europe changed so dramatically in the past decade? In this dissertation, I assess the impacts of multiple facets of globalization on citizens’ satisfaction with democracy and politics, and how political parties respond to these shifting voter preferences. I divide the dissertation into three main parts which assess globalization’s links to 1. party preferences, 2. democratic satisfaction and trust in political institutions, and 3. party strategy on behalf of both long-standing, mainstream parties, and newer movements.

In the first part, I probe and challenge the widely used losers vs. winners of globalization dichotomy, in order to better capture the variation between how individuals are affected by, and react to, processes of globalization. After devising this typology, I demonstrate its utility in explaining changes in voters’ party preferences as a reaction to globalization. The second part then uses this new conceptualization to assess how globalization has affected citizens’ satisfaction with democracy and trust in political institutions. The third part of this dissertation then assesses the role of party strategy in responding to globalization and its associated divide between citizens regarding democratic and political satisfaction.

PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
globalization, eurozone crisis, migrant crisis, europe, political parties
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