Welfare Chauvinism, Populist Radical Right Parties and Health Inequalities; Comment on “A Scoping Review of Populist Radical Right Parties’ Influence on Welfare Policy and its Implications for Population Health in Europe”

Document Type : Commentary

Authors

1 Population Health Sciences Institute, Faculty of Medical Sciences, Newcastle University, Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK

2 Department of Political Science, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA

Abstract

In this short commentary, we examine the implications of the welfare chauvinism of the populist radical right (PRR) for health inequalities by examining the international evidence about the impact of previous periods of welfare state contraction on population health and health inequalities. We argue that parties from various political traditions have in fact long engaged in stigmatisation of welfare recipients to justify welfare state retrenchment, a technique that the PRR have now ‘weaponised.’ We conclude by reflecting on implications of the rise of the PRR for the future of welfare states and health inequalities in the context of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

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