Skip to main content

Political Science and Political Economy Research Seminar

We Were the Robots: Automation and Voting Behaviour in Western Europe

Piero Stanig (Bocconi University), joint with Massimo Anelli and Italo Colantone

Tuesday 21 January 2020 14:00 - 15:30

Due to the onging coronavirus outbreak, many of our seminars and public events this year will continue as online seminars. Please check our website listings and Twitter feed @STICERD_LSE for updates.


About this event

The increasing success of nationalist and radical-right parties is one of the most remarkable developments in the politics of advanced democracies. We investigate the impact of industrial robot adoption on electoral outcomes in 14 Western European countries, between 1993 and 2016, employing official election results at the district level and individual-level voting data, combined with party ideology scores from the Manifesto Project, and measures of exposure to automation at the regional and individual level. Higher exposure to robot adoption increases support for nationalist and radical-right parties. Unveiling some potential transmission channels, higherrobot exposure at the individual level leads to poorer perceived economic conditions and well-being, lower satisfaction with the government and democracy, and a reduction in perceived political self-efficacy. Structural changes in the economy, and in particular the decline of manufacturing employment, play a significant part in the success of nationalist and radical-right parties in Western Europe.

The Political Science and Political Economy (PSPE) research group at the LSE brings together faculty and PhD students who do quantitative and/or formal research on political institutions, political behaviour, public policy, and political economy.

The PSPE Research Seminar provides a venue for researchers (mostly from outside of the LSE) to present their work.

These seminars are held on Tuesdays in term time at 14.00-15.30, ONLINE, unless specified otherwise.

Seminar coordinator: Dr Stephane Wolton

Contact gov.comms@lse.ac.uk to be added to the mailing list and to recieve the zoom link.