• Marte Strand
With immigration and integration becoming defining topics of political debate Western Europe has seen an exponential growth in radical right parties. A vast pool of academic sources has been devoted to the phenomenon of the radical right and the reasons for its success such as Norris and Mudde. Less focus has however been dedicated to the reaction of mainstream social democratic parties in Europe. Their overall response to the radical right threat as well as their stance on immigration and integration. Alonso and Claro da Fonseca argues that the social democratic parties in Western Europe are facing a dilemma of changing social cleavages. The current social democratic voting base is made up of a progressive upper middle-class and a conservative middle-class. The issue of immigration divides these groups, the progressive upper middle-class supporting ideas of multiculturalism, while the conservative middle-class being more prone to an anti immigration stance. Therefore it is argued that the social democratic parties have remained a vague profile on immigration, in order not to alienate either social group. However this vague profile has backfired as the conservative middle-class is shifting their loyalty to the radical right parties. Consequently social democratic parties are now being accused of combating the loss of voters, by taking a stricter stance on immigration. This thesis will investigate this accusation in regards to the social democratic Norwegian Labour Party. The Norwegian Labour party has recently been accused of becoming more protectionist, emulating radical right policies in regards to immigration and integration. It will do so through an ideology analysis of the Labour Party, using the Labour Party’s political manifesto from 1986, 1997 and 2009 as the basis for the analysis. It will conclude that despite the accusations the Norwegian Labour Party still maintain a clear revisionist socialist policy on Immigration and Integration, and has not moved towards ideologically towards the radical right.
Publication date30 May 2014
Number of pages76
ID: 198322181