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Post-industrialization and Support for Conservative and Christian Democratic Parties in Western Europe

3:30pm - 5:00pm / Thursday 7th October 2021
Type: Seminar / Category: Research
  • Admission: FREE Online
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Title: Post-industrialization and Support for Conservative and Christian Democratic Parties in Western Europe (with Chris D. Raymond, Queen’s University Belfast)

Abstract: Conservative and Christian Democratic parties continue to receive relatively little attention in the scholarly literature compared to other party families. This is particularly striking given the fact that, although national trends diverge, average support for Conservative and Christian Democratic parties has been subject to a steady decline across much of Western Europe since at least the 1980s. In this presentation, I will focus on the impact that structural social changes associated with modernization and the development of post-industrial economies may have had on Conservative and Christian Democratic parties. The empirical analysis, based on 41 parties in 17 West European democracies since the 1960s, reveals that social changes have brought about both challenges and opportunities for the conservative mainstream right, the overall balance of which depends on parties’ strategic choices. All in all, I will argue that post-industrial societies make it more difficult for parties to obtain long-term electoral returns from a strategy that mixes social conservatism and economic liberalism.

Bio: Raul Gomez is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Politics of the University of Liverpool and a Leverhulme Research Fellow from 2020-2022. His research interests lie at the intersection between political sociology and comparative politics. His current projects focus on the changing conservative voter, support for radical left parties, and the impact of job insecurity on political behaviour and attitudes.

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