Corporations and Political Ideology in the Twenty-First Century in Europe

Emily Erikson, Yale University
Tyler Brown, Yale University

It has been shown that employment contexts affect individuals’ political ideology. Most research considers employment contexts using a class-based perspective, where employment affects earnings, which affects left or right leaning political positions. Corporations have also been shown to have independent effects on national-level politics, whether through lobbying efforts or supporting networks of political active commercial elites. Here we consider the political impact of corporations from the perspective of the social world they create for employees. Corporations create environments of complex interdependency for many employees. Because corporations expose individuals to coordinated group activity, we hypothesize corporate employees may be more likely to support political parties that take collectivist positions and emphasize cooperation and coordination over competitive, individualist political positions. Using a data from the European Social Survey, we show that corporate employment increases the likelihood of left-leaning voting behaviors when earnings are controlled for. Our hypothesis helps explains why precarious self-employed workers tend to vote against their class interests by supporting right-wing candidates and issues.

No extended abstract or paper available

 Presented in Session 127. European Politics