Whose Interests do Radical Right Parties Represent? Cross-Class Alliances and the Migration Policy Agenda of the Swiss People's Party.

(2013) in Korkut, U. McGarry, A., Bucken-Knapp, G. and Hinnfors, J. (eds) The Politics of Migration in Europe. New York: Palgrave.

This paper analyses the economic interests which underpin the immigration policy agenda of the strongest radical populist right party in Western Europe, the Swiss People´s Party. Rather than understanding this agenda merely as the manifestation of anti-immigration resentment or the exploitation thereof, it proposes to analyse it as a political-economic agenda seeking to articulate the contradictory interests of its two main electoral clienteles, namely small business owners and blue-collar workers. Hence, while it claims to oppose immigration to protect the domestic indigenous workforce, the Swiss People´s Party also seeks to maintain sources of cheap migrant labour for small businesses. Drawing upon an analysis of party stances over policy reforms in the domains of cross-border mobility and undeclared work, the paper outlines the contradictions and conflicts related to the articulation of these interests.

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