• Daniel Ziblatt


February 2, 2021, Paper: "Why do voters for the radical right tend to cluster in specific geographic locations? Many scholars have emphasized the economic roots of radical right support. Other scholarship highlights the role of the urban-rural divide, contending that the radical right finds support in low population density locations due to distinctive social values and strong place-based social identities found in rural areas. To date, however, we do not have a full grasp of the sources of these latter factors nor an understanding of the historical roots that explain their emergence. We argue that what is frequently classified as the “rural” bases of radical right support in previous research is in part a proxy for something entirely dierent: communities that were in the historical "periphery" in the center-periphery conflicts that shaped modern nation-state formation. Inspired by a classic state-building literature that emphasizes the prevalence of a “wealth of tongues” (Weber 1976)— or nonstandard linguistic dialects in a region—as a definition of the periphery, we use data from more than 725,000 geo-coded responses in a linguistic survey in Germany to show that voters from historically peripheral geographic communities are more likely to vote for the radical right today."

Non-HKS Author Website - Daniel Ziblatt