Erik Gahner Larsen

New article in European Journal of Political Research: Do Terrorist Attacks Feed Populist Eurosceptics?

In the new February issue of European Journal of Political Research, you will find an article I’ve written together with David Cutts and Matthew J. Goodwin. The article is called ‘Do terrorist attacks feed populist Eurosceptics? Evidence from two comparative quasi‐experiments’.

Here is the abstract:

Over recent years, Europe has experienced a series of Islamic terrorist attacks. In this article, conflicting theoretical expectations are derived on whether such attacks increase populist Euroscepticism in the form of anti‐immigration, anti‐refugee and anti‐European Union sentiment. Empirically, plausible exogenous variation in the exposure to the 2016 Berlin attack is exploited in two nationally representative surveys covering multiple European countries. No evidence is found for a populist response to the terrorist attack in any of the surveyed countries. On the contrary, people in Germany became more positive towards the EU in the wake of the Berlin attack. Moreover, little evidence is found that ideology shaped the response to the attack. The findings suggest that terrorist attacks are not met by an immediate public populist response.

The article is available online here. You can find the replication material at the Harvard Dataverse and GitHub.