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Alternative Title

Immigration, economics, and the rise of the Italian far-right

Publication Date


First Advisor

Charles P. Staelin

Document Type

Honors Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts




Immigration, Politics, Economics, Italy, Europe, Elections, Voting, Migration, Labor


In the last 5 years, Italy has seen a dramatic increase in the popularity of far-right political parties. Between the 2013 and 2018 election alone, there was a 24.4 percentage point increase in votes for the three parties on which this paper focuses. A primary impetus of this shift has been the continuing assertion by these parties that most of Italy’s economic hardships can be blamed on immigration. Previous studies have indicated that Italians’ views on immigration have not worsened or become more prejudiced in the last five years, but rather that awareness of the issue has increased significantly. This paper examines the validity of these parties’ claims by analyzing the connections between migratory flows and economic indicators, and exploring the potential causes of the increase in votes for far-right parties.


©2019 Hannah Louise Mathews. Access limited to the Smith College community and other researchers while on campus. Smith College community members also may access from off-campus using a Smith College log-in. Other off-campus researchers may request a copy through Interlibrary Loan for personal use.




59 pages : color map. Includes bibliographical references (pages 44-50)