Sociologist Jeroen van der Waal (Ph.D. Erasmus University Rotterdam, 2010) is associate professor at Erasmus University Rotterdam, Fellow at Erasmus University College, and a member of the Erasmus Graduate School of Social Sciences and the Humanities, and Young Erasmus. His research is predominantly located in the fields of political sociology, urban sociology and sociology of health. You can contact him to get in touch.
Local conditions shape voting behavior. Extant research has primarily scrutinized one specific relationship: the association between the share of ethnic minorities in a local context and voting for right-wing populist or anti-immigration parties. The electoral relevance of neighborhood disorder, another potentially salient local factor, has been unexplored, even though this social problem has received much attention in the field of criminology. We therefore assess whether neighborhood disorder underlies support for law-and-order parties. In so doing, we incorporate insights from the literature on cultural framing and theorize that the electoral relevance of neighborhood disorder is not the same for everyone, because different individuals may have different interpretations of the same local conditions. We thus hypothesize that neighborhood disorder more strongly inspires law-and-order voting among residents with an authoritarian disposition, that is, an aversion to diversity and difference and an inclination toward social conformity. Multilevel logistic regression analyses of nationally representative Dutch data (1678 Dutch natives in 180 neighborhoods) corroborate this hypothesis: while we find no overall effect of neighborhood disorder on law-and-order voting, there is evidence of a strong positive effect among residents with a very authoritarian disposition. We discuss the relevance of these results and provide suggestions for further research.
Veel beschouwingen over de politiek in het algemeen en de vermeende kloof tussen de burger en de politiek in het bijzonder richten zich op ‘de ontevreden burger’. Ontevredenheid wordt daarbij op verschillende manieren ingevuld, variërend van zich niet vertegenwoordigd of gehoord voelen tot wantrouwen in instituties als de politiek en de rechtspraak, en steun aan populistische partijen. Maar wie zijn die ontevreden burgers, en waarom zijn zij zo ontevreden?