The far-right, immigrants, and the prospects of democracy satisfaction in Europe
This paper examines the consequences of the far-right in shaping foreign-born immigrants’ satisfaction with the way democracy works in their host country. It posits that while electorally successful far-right parties undermine democracy satisfaction, the magnitude of this effect is not uniform across all first-generation immigrants. Instead, it depends on newcomers’ citizenship status in their adopted homeland. The analyses using individual-level data collected as part of the five-round European Social Survey (ESS) 2002–2012 in 16 West European democracies reveal that the electoral strength of far-right parties in a form of vote and seat shares won in national elections is indeed powerfully linked to democracy satisfaction among foreign-born individuals. However, this relationship is limited to foreign-born non-citizens, as we have no evidence that far-right parties influence democracy attitudes among foreign-born individuals who have acquired citizenship in their adopted homeland.