ANTI-PLURALIST ALL THE WAY? The realtionship between authoritarian support and anti-pluralist vote choice in Europe
Literature on anti-pluralism has mostly focused on states and failed so far to include the individual level. This thesis aims to fill this gap and explores individual-leve! antipluralism or more precisely the question why citizens vote for anti-pluralist parties. As a possible explanation, I identify authoritarian support from the literature. I expect authoritarian support to lead to anti-pluralist vote choice via individual authoritarian values and attitudes. As specific mechanisms, I analyse a backlash against cultural values and one particular authoritarian attitude, the wish for a strong leader. To test this, I conduct a large-N, longitudinal cross-country analysis with survey data. Novel data on anti-pluralism of parties is provided by the V-Dem party dataset (V-Party). Survey data on vote choice, values, and attitudes is provided by the European Social Survey in nine waves from 2002 until 2018. I conduct research on citizens from a sample of ten European countries. Using multilevel analysis, I find strong support for my expectations. Politicians or researchers who are concerned about potentially rising levels of anti-pluralism among citizens can therefore look into the relationship between authoritarian support and anti-pluralism. Political education towards democratic values could be a solution to work against anti-pluralist tendencies among the population.