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The IEB Report 2/2020 Reviews the Causes of Political Fragmentation in Europe

The Barcelona Institute of Economics (IEB) devotes the second IEB Report of 2020, coordinated by researcher and professor Matteo Gamalerio, to address the causes of the political fragmentation that Europe has experienced in the last decade with the emergence of new parties and the rise of populism. The focus is on the great economic recession of 2008, but studies point to a possible second wave as a result of Covid-19 that could exacerbate this trend.

The Report features three contributions. In the first, Bocconi professor Massimo Morelli provides insights from a vibrant research agenda that analyse the role of economic insecurity in explaining the rise of new political parties in western democracies.  

In the second article, IEB researchers Albert Solé-Ollé and Pilar Sorribas-Navarro, together with Carlos Sanz of the Banco de España, study the role of the 2008 Great Recession in explaining the rise in the level of political fragmentation in Spanish politics, the consequent increase in the number of political parties. In addition, they analyse whether political corruption amplified the effect of the economic crisis.

In the third article, Johanna Rickne (Stockhom University) and Olle Folke (Uppsala University) analyse how the rise of new political parties can affect the selection of people who enter politics. They use data from Sweden, and they focus their attention on two new families of political parties: Green parties and Radical Right parties. They study the socioeconomic traits and the level of competence of the politicians selected by these new parties.