Vicente Valentim (European University Institute)
5 November 2020 @ 14:00
“The Effects of Banning Political Ideologies: Evidence from Employment Bans in Germany”
Abstract: How can states counter growing political extremism? We look at the effect of states persecuting radical individuals by studying the case of the radical decree in Germany. Implemented in 1972, this policy allowed individuals with connections to extremist groups to be banned from working in the public sector. We argue that this policy might have backfired, increasing extremist behavior and reducing voting for the incumbent. Drawing upon a newly collected dataset of individuals targeted by the bans, we run difference-in-differences models to estimate the effect of such bans on the political behavior of German citizens. We also look at the long term effects of the bans by looking at its effects on reducing the vote for the far-right party AfD, formed four decades after the policy was first implemented. In future iterations of the paper, we intend to enrich our findings by contacting and interviewing individuals targeted by the bans. Our findings have implications for the repertoire of policies that states can implement to deter extremist behavior and safeguard democracy.