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WPS No.30 | Tzaninis, Y., Boterman, W. and Pratsinakis, M. (2018) | Right-wing populism and xenophobia

Beyond the urban/suburban dichotomy in the Netherlands

This paper challenges the idea that there is currently a geographical, political dichotomy between cities and the periphery: the city is supposed to represent the tolerant vote while the periphery is portrayed as more prone to populism and xenophobia.

By focusing on the Netherlands, this paper challenges this dichotomous thinking in two ways. Initially we argue that in the long run voting behaviour patterns in the Netherlands have diversified in city and suburb in accordance to demographic diversification. This observation points to voting being consistent even when people change spaces. Second, we discuss the relation between voting behaviour and issues of ethnic co-existence in depth by looking at residents of urban and suburban spaces. We show that (anti)immigration discourses and practices among the white Dutch liberal voters stay relatively constant in city and periphery.


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