How do political parties react to foreign security threats? There has been very little attention paid in the literature generally to how parties react to international events, particularly how parties react to foreign policy threats. Using data from the Comparative Manifesto Project, we examine how political parties in countries in Europe have reacted to Russian actions in terms of their emphasis on security issues. Based upon our analysis of the manifestoes from 331 parties in 36 countries we find that, generally, interstate threats have no significant effect on the military position adopted by political parties, although these effects vary by party type and by the type of threat. Russian based threats appear to be associated with the Far Left becoming more dovish (which is consistent with what would be expected by the literature) and the Far Right becoming significantly less hawkish.

This content is only available via PDF.