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An extensive literature links the rise of populist radical right (PRR) parties to immigration. Rafaela Dancygier argues that another demographic trend is also significant: Emigration. The departure of citizens due to internal and international emigration is a major phenomenon affecting election outcomes via two complementary mechanisms. Emigration alters the composition of electorates but also changes the preferences of remaining voters left behind.

Event details of AMCIS Seminar: Emigration and Populism
Date 2 December 2021
Time 16:00 -17:00

Empirically, Dancygier establishes a positive correlation between PRR vote shares and population loss at the municipality level across Europe. A more fine-grained panel analysis of precincts in Sweden demonstrates that the departure of local citizens raises PRR vote shares in the places left behind and that the Social Democrats are the principal losers from emigration.

Elite interviews and newspaper analyses highlight that emigration produces grievances on which populists can capitalize and that established parties do not effectively address. Emigration and the frustrations it generates emerge as important causes of populist success.


Rafaela Dancygier is Professor of Politics and Public and International Affairs and Director of the Mamdouha S. Bobst Center for Peace and Justice at Princeton University. She specializes in the comparative politics of advanced democracies. Her research examines how social and economic divides interact with party politics and shape electoral alignments and political conflict in Europe and the United States. Her first book Immigration and Conflict in Europe (Cambridge University Press, 2010) explains how immigration regimes and local political economies determine whether or not immigration destinations witness conflict between immigrants and natives, between immigrants and the state, or no conflict at all. Immigration and Conflict was awarded the Best Book Award by the European Politics and Society Section of the American Political Science Association (APSA).

Her second book, Dilemmas of Inclusion: Muslims in European Politics (Princeton University Press, 2017) examines how minority groups are incorporated into politics and explores the consequences of this inclusion for the nature of party politics, electoral cleavages and gender equality. Her articles cover topics such as hate crime, immigrant integration, radical right populism, gender equality, and housing crises and gentrification.


For the Zoom details and abstract, please email The seminar is open for everyone to attend and will be in English.