Racism, Xenophobia, and Distribution: Multi-Issue Politics in Advanced Democracies

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From the Republican Party's "Southern Strategy" in the U.S. to the rise of Le Pen's National Front in France, conservative politicians in the last thirty years have capitalized on voters' resentment of ethnic minorities to win votes and undermine government aid to the poor. In this book, the authors construct a theoretical model to calculate the effect of voters' attitudes about race and immigration on political parties' stances on income distribution.

Drawing on empirical data from the U.S., Britain, Denmark, and France, they use their model to show how parties choose their platforms and compete for votes. They find that the Right is able to push fiscal policies that hurt working and middle class citizens by attracting voters who may be liberal on economic issues but who hold conservative views on race or immigration. The authors estimate that if all voters held non-racist views, liberal and conservative parties alike would have proposed levels of redistribution 10 to 20 percent higher than they did. Combining historical analysis and empirical rigor with major theoretical advances, the book yields fascinating insights into how politicians exploit social issues to advance their economic agenda.

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Editorial Reviews

John Ferejohn
This book presents an enormously original and important line of thought, partly for its topical importance, but as much for its development and exposition of important new theoretical tools that have a very wide range of application to problems not yet imagined. The extended consideration of the impact of the "ethnic dimension" will permit readers to assess the new methods in a concrete context.
Tasos Kalandrakis
In Racism, Xenophobia, and Distribution, the authors demonstrate how attitudes toward racial and ethnic minorities in modern democracies can have a measurable and significant impact on the nature of competition between Left and Right, on equilibrium political coalitions, and redistributive policies. This is an important contribution to the field of political economy, both methodologically and substantively. There exist few econometric studies in political economy that are based on equilibrium models of the type used by the authors. Even fewer exist with the sophistication and depth of analysis found in this book.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

John Roemer is Elizabeth S. and A. Varick Stout Professor of Political Science and Economics, Yale University.

?Woojin Lee is Associate Professor of Economics, University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

?Karine Van der Straeten is a fellow at the National Center for Scientific Research, Paris.

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Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments

1. Introduction

2. Political Equilibrium: Theory and Application
  • The Data
  • Characterization of PUNE as a System of Equations
  • The Probability-of-Victory Function
  • Factional Bargaining Powers
  • The Three-Party Model
  • First Application: The Logarithmic Utility Function
  • Second Application: The Euclidean Utility Function
  • Conclusion

3. History of Racial Politics in the United States
  • Introduction
  • Race and American Exceptionalism
  • Issue Evolution
  • The Dixiecrats
  • The Presidential Election of 1964 and Its Aftermath
  • The Reagan Democrats
  • Race, Class, andWelfare Reform in the 1990s
  • Conclusion

4. United States: Quantitative Analysis
  • Introduction
  • Recovering Voter Racism from Survey Data
  • Estimation of the Model’s Parameters
  • Numerical Solution of the Log Utility Model
  • The Euclidean Function Approach
  • Conclusion

5. History of Racism and Xenophobia in the United Kingdom
  • Introduction
  • Immigration in Britain
  • An Issue of “High Potential”
  • From Powell to Thatcher: Challenging the Consensus
  • The Rise of Thatcher and the Breakdown of the Consensus of Silence
  • Immigration in the 1990s and Beyond
  • Conclusion

6. United Kingdom: Quantitative Analysis
  • Introduction
  • Minorities, Race, and Class Politics in the UK
  • Estimation of Parameters
  • The PBE and ASE: Computation
  • Conclusion

7. Immigration: A Challenge to Tolerant Denmark
  • Introduction
  • The Early Years: GuestWorkers and Their Families
  • The Eighties: The Emergence of Refugees
  • The Nineties: Xenophobia Emerges, Front and Center
  • No Longer Marginal: The Far Right and the Election of 2001

8. Denmark: Quantitative Analysis
  • Parties and Issues
  • Estimation of the Model’s Parameters
  • Political Equilibrium: Observation and Prediction
  • The Policy-Bundle and Antisolidarity Effects: Computation
  • Conclusion

9. Immigration and the Political Institutionalization of Xenophobia in France
  • Introduction
  • Immigration in France: A Brief Sketch
  • The Politicization of Immigration
  • The Rise of Le Pen
  • The Mainstreaming of Xenophobia
  • The 1988 Presidential Election
  • Xenophobia Remains in the Headlines
  • Conventional Politics Return as a New Cleavage Is Born
  • Conclusion

10. France: Quantitative Analysis
  • Parties and Voter Opinion
  • Political Equilibrium with Three Parties
  • Estimation of Model Parameters
  • Political Equilibrium: Observation and Prediction
  • The Policy-Bundle and Antisolidarity Effects: Computation

11. Conclusion
  • The Rise of the New Right Movement
  • Recapitulation
  • The Log Utility Function Approach
  • The Euclidean Utility Function Approach
  • Limitations
  • Final Remark

  • Appendix A: Statistical Methods
  • Appendix B: Additional Tables

  • Notes
  • References
  • Index

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