HÖGERPOPULISM OCH ABORTATTITYDER I POLEN OCH SVERIGE
En kvantitativ analys av högerpopulistisk partitillhörighet och väljares abortattityder
Support for rightwing populist parties has increased in Europe over the last decade. Alongside the rise of rightwing populism that can be seen in many democratic states there has also been a shift in support for legally free abortion. The abortion debate became once again salient when the USA overturned their national abortion legislation in summer 2022 and in Europe there is increasingly higher number of rightwing populist parties who are questioning free abortion legislation, with most notable consequences in the Polish abortion law. This thesis therefore aims to investigate the relationship between populist rightwing partisanship and voters’ abortion attitudes. Given these parties’ promotion of conservative gender values and previous studies’ finding that voters’ partisanship influences their attitudes, I theorize that the rise of rightwing populism may influence voters’ gender equality attitudes, and more specifically their abortion attitudes. The thesis further investigates whether the relationship between populist rightwing partisanship and abortion attitudes differs between countries with a conservative and a liberal gender regime. I theorize that, in a conservative gender regime the correlation between rightwing populistic partisanship and conservative abortion attitudes is stronger than in a liberal gender regime. The results reveal a positive, significant relationship between populist rightwing partisanship and conservative abortion attitudes. However, contrary to my expectations, the strength of the relationship does not differ between Poland and Sweden. Previous literature argues that elite influence is stronger in states where the abortion debate is politicized and polarized, however, this thesis’ results show that the relationship is equally strong in Poland and in Sweden. Some previous literature also argues that anti-feminist elite influence is stronger in states with fragile gender norms and conservative gender regimes, however, that does not seem be the case when comparing Poland and Sweden. The finding that there is a significant, positive relationship between populist rightwing partisanship and conservative abortion attitudes, and this relationship is independent of a country’s gender regime, draws attention to the importance of safeguarding abortion rights in all countries and especially those countries experiencing a rise of the populist radical right.
Right-wing populism, partisanship, abortion attitudes, gender regimes, gender roles, Poland, Sweden Högerpopulism, partitillhörighet, abortattityder, jämställdhetsregim, könsroller, Polen, Sverige