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Title:Welfare Chauvinism East and West: Romania and France
Author(s):Fesnic, Florin N.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Gaines, Brian J.
Department / Program:Political Science
Discipline:Political Science
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Political Science, General
Abstract:A substantial part of my thesis rests on the 'modernization loser' thesis: I argue that the core constituencies of Greater Romania Party and the French National Front are a side effect of the latest stage in the process of modernization of the two countries---the transition from an advanced industrial economy to a post-industrial economy in France, and the transition from a socialist economy to a post-socialist economy in Romania. I analyze survey data and show that the core constituents of these parties (young, blue-collar males with vocational training) are the group who was most affected by the aforementioned process. This led to their radicalization---politically, the members of this group are more authoritarian than any other social group, and they indicate the highest level of disaffection with the working of the political system. At the same time, their positions on economic issues are rather centrist (in France), or even leftist (in Romania). One major difference between the two cases is that in France, support for the National Front appears to be driven by absolute deprivation, while in Romania, relative deprivation is a more plausible explanation for the vote for Greater Romania Party. The policy positions endorsed by the two parties mirror those of their voters. The consequence is that political competition in both countries has become two-dimensional. On the one hand, we have the 'Old Politics' dimension of economic and social conflicts, most salient in dividing the mainstream left and right; on the other hand, we have the 'New Politics' dimension, which separates both mainstream left and right from the extreme right. That being the case, the label 'welfare chauvinist' is more appropriate to indicate the position of these parties and their constituencies in the two-dimensional policy space.
Issue Date:2008
Description:148 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2008.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3347301
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:2008

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