Titel: Social Integration and Right-Wing Populist Voting in Germany
Autor: Patrick Sachweh
Electoral support for right-wing populist parties is typically explained either by economic deprivation or cultural grievances. Attempting to bring economic and cultural explanations together, recent approaches have suggested to conceptualize right-wing populist support as a problem of social integration. Applying this perspective to the German case, this article investigates whether weak subjective social integration—or subjective social marginalization, respectively—is associated with the intention to vote for the AfD. Furthermore, it asks whether the strength of this association varies across income groups. Based on original survey data from 2017, the results show that indicators of weak subjective social integration—feeling socially excluded, being anxious about one’s status, and distrusting others—increase the likelihood of voting for the AfD. Moreover, weak subjective social integration increases right-wing party support particularly among the middle-class. Thus, next to fears of downward mobility, feelings of subjective social marginalization emerge as a pathway to right-wing populism for the middle-class.