The Welfare State & Rise of Right-Wing Populism in Europe: New Evidence

The BMW Center for German and European Studies
invites you to
The Welfare State and the Rise of Right-Wing Populism in Europe: New Evidence
A lecture by: 
Dr. Charlotte Cavaille
Assistant Professor
Walsh School of Foreign Service

Does immigrant-native competition over social transfers and services shape mass support for far right parties?
Existing work on the "welfare channel" models social spending as a combination of income tax and cash transfers designed to redistribute resources across income groups. Instead, we focus on locally-consumed social services such as public housing, health care or primary education. These services are susceptible to congestion and consequently more likely to generate distributional conflicts between immigrants and natives.
To examine this issue, we leverage an exogenous EU legal directive that granted public housing rights to foreign residents in Austria. In line with expectations, we find that support the far right increases as the intensity of zero-sum competition between immigrants and natives increases.
By increasing public service congestion, the confluence of austerity measures and rising immigrant settlement in Europe could explain some of the far right's recent electoral gains.

This event is supported by the Michael C. Olshausen Lecture Fund.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017 at 12:00pm to 2:00pm

Mortara Center for International Studies Georgetown University, 3600 N Street NW, Washington, DC

Event Type

Special Events, Service, Community, Research, Alumni


Students, Faculty/Staff, Alumni, Public


Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, BMW Center for German and European Studies


Free, but registration requested

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