Reconciling national and supranational identities: civilizationism in European far-right discourse

2022, Perspectives on Politics

How do European far-right parties reconcile their longstanding nationalism with their allegiance to European “civilization”? While certainly not contradictory, simultaneously adopting national and supranational identities requires considerable discursive maneuvering to articulate clearly. I argue the far right negotiates the boundaries between its national and supranational identities through two discursive mechanisms, abstraction and embedding, which present civilizationism as nonthreatening to, and partially constituted by, nationalism. Specifically, abstraction links European civilization to general features of a shared heritage, while embedding connects civilization to elements of the nationalist repertoire. I demonstrate the far right’s monopolization of civilizational discourse and use of these twin mechanisms through quantitative and qualitative analyses of more than 1,000 party manifestos and more than 650,000 tweets. These findings contribute to the growing scholarly literature that treats civilizations as supranational “imagined communities” and has implications for the study of nationalism, civilizationism, and the far right.

Come-from-Behind Victories Under Ranked-Choice Voting AND RUNOFF: The Impact on Voter Satisfaction

With Cynthia McClintock

Forthcoming, Politics & Policy

Both ranked-choice voting (RCV) and runoff seek to prevent the election of candidates with only minority support by enabling more broadly approved rivals to win through come-from-behind victories (CFBVs). While CFBVs are intrinsic to RCV and runoff, they have received little scholarly attention. This study suggests that, amid voters’ status quo bias, CFBVs provoke dissatisfaction. In a survey experiment fielded on U.S. voters, CFBVs under RCV significantly reduced satisfaction, while there was a weaker negative effect under runoff. Similarly, RCV was repealed or faced a visible repeal attempt in the vast majority of U.S. jurisdictions that experienced a CFBV in the first or second use of the rule. This was not the case for runoff. We encourage greater voter education, including regarding the rationale for and mechanics of CFBVs under RCV, as well as consideration of runoff and other rules that encourage the election of candidates with majority support.