Comparing Radical Right Parties in Government: Immigration and Integration Policies in Nine Countries (1996–2010)

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Series Details Volume 35, Number 3, Pages 511-529
Publication Date May 2012
ISSN 0140-2382
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This article investigates the direct influence of radical right parties on immigration and integration policies by comparing the output of 27 cabinets of varying composition in nine countries in the period between 1996 and 2010. A Nationalist Immigration and Integration Policy index has been developed to measure legislative changes with regard to citizenship and denizenship, asylum, illegal residence, family reunion and integration.

The comparative analysis of immigration and integration legislation shows that the policy output of cabinets including radical right parties deviates significantly from centre-left and centre cabinets, but does not differ much from that of centre-right cabinets. The quantitative analysis makes clear that although parties matter, radical right parties do not matter in particular. A case by case analysis confirms that the direct impact of radical right parties on policy output has been severely limited by the difficulties these parties face in adapting to public office.

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