The Left–Right dimension is the most common way of conceptualizing ideological difference. It is based on the traditional cleavage in society between capital and labor. But in an ever more globalized world, are the concepts of Left and Right as relevant today as they were half a century ago? Following Kriesi et al. (2006) this article argues that the cleavage that exists in many European societies between “winners” and “losers” of globalization has engendered a new ideological dimension that pits “cosmopolitans” against “communitarians” and that draws on cultural issues relating to identity, rather than economic issues. This argument is tested by identifying latent dimensions from opinion data generated by two Voting Advice Applications deployed in England in 2014 and 2015 and by mapping the positions of party supporters with respect to these dimensions. It is found that in England the political space is defined by two main ideological dimensions: an economic Left–Right dimension and a cultural communitarian–cosmopolitan dimension. Finally, supporters of the newly formed United Kingdom Independence Party are found to be located near the communitarian pole of the cultural dimension.
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences\Department of Social Sciences
Year of publication: 2016Date of RADAR deposit: 2016-10-06