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Joost van Spanje, "Contagious Parties: Anti-Immigration Parties and Their Impact on Other Parties' Immigration Stances in Contemporary Western Europe," Party Politics, 16 (September, 2010), 563-586. [Available at http://ppq.sagepub.com/content/vol16/issue5/ ]

First paragraph:
Anti-immigration parties have emerged in most Western democracies and in some countries have enjoyed considerable electoral success. Many scholars have studied the factors underlying the electoral performance of these parties because it is these parties that affect real-life policy outcomes in their countries (e.g. Golder, 2003; Ivarsflaten, 2008; Van der Brug et al., 2005). Electoral success does not automatically translate into policy influence, however, so the question concerns the extent to which the policy influence of antiimmigration parties is related to their electoral fortunes.

Figures and Tables:
Table 1. Twenty-six anti-immigration parties in Western Europe (1990-2004)
Table 2. Descriptive analyses of the dependent and independent variable
Table 3. Models explaining change in immigration policy position of 75 Western European parties, 2000-4
Figure 1. Change in immigration party positions as anti-immigration party success changes, 2000-4

Last Paragraph:
More generally, the findings of this study seem to highlight the fact that a party's ability to employ vote-maximizing strategies has considerable constraints. When in government, the party leader's hands are tied, which may lead to different outcomes than commonly used theories predict. Other factors, such as the alignments within the party and personal preferences of the party leaders, can also play an important role in the response of an established party to the emergence of an anti-immigration party in its polity. In other words, contagion effects are contingent upon the wider context of inter-party and intra-party competition. Future research should focus on the question of how the context matters, and to what extent.

Last updated August 2010