Progressiveness and the New Right: The electoral relevance of culturally progressive values in the Netherlands

Willem De Koster, P.H.J. Achterberg, Jeroen Van der Waal, Samira Van Bohemen, Roy Kemmers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Whereas electoral support for new-rightist parties is often understood as driven by ethnocentric anti-immigrant sentiments, scholars have noted that new-rightist politicians have, surprisingly, stressed culturally progressive arguments in the last decade. Using recent Dutch survey data (N = 1,302) especially collected for this purpose, the article analyses the electoral relevance of three types of cultural progressiveness for voting for the new right and their relation to the well-documented anti-immigrant agenda. The analysis shows that neither moral progressiveness nor aversion to public interference of religious orthodoxy underlies the new-rightist vote. Support for freedom of speech proves relevant, but, in accordance with literature on the new right’s electoral strategy and with theorising on framing, this only leads towards the new right among those who are ethnocentric. These findings are discussed in the light of electoral competition, and questions for further research are formulated.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)584-604
JournalWest European Politics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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