Several radical right parties have entered national govern ments as coali tion part ners in Western Europe since the begin ning of this century. This recent devel op ment has raised new ques tions about the impact of these parties on policy form a tion in general, and on immig ration and integ ra tion policies in partic u lar. Immigration and integ ra tion are not only the key issues of radical right parties, but these issues are also central to the concern of voters for these parties (Fennema 1997; Ivarsflaten 2008; Mudde 2007). Negative atti tudes toward asylum seekers, legal and illegal immig ra tion and multi-cultur al ism prevail among radical right voters and are the main reason why voters support these parties (Carter 2005; Van der Brug et al. 2000). This article there fore focuses on this key policy field. The results of previ ous studies assess ing the impact of the entrance of radical right parties
into national govern ments are far from univocal. Most studies have high lighted the (direct or indir ect) influ ence of these newcomers (Howard 2010; Marthaler 2008; Schain 2006; Williams 2006). However, the presumed signi fic ance of radical right parties has also been ques tioned (Duncan 2010; Money 1999; Mudde 2007; Van Kersbergen and Krouwel 2008). The most element ary ques tion schol ars disagree about is whether policy results would have been much differ ent if radical right parties had remained in oppos i tion. In other words, has the entrance of radical right parties into govern ment pushed immig ra tion and integ ra tion policies further in a restrict ive direc tion? A system atic and compar at ive assess ment of the policy output of cabin ets with and without radical right parties is still lacking. To fill this gap, an index will be presen ted that enables the system atic meas ure ment of legis lat ive changes over time and across national contexts. Drawing on studies of immig ra tion and integ ra tion policies, a broad approach to the policy fields has been chosen, includ ing subfields such as citizen ship and deniz en ship, asylum, family reunion, illeg al ity and several aspects of integ ration policies. In all these fields, legis lat ive changes made by 27 cabin ets of varying polit ical compos i tion in the period between 1996 and 2010 will be meas ured and compared. A central argu ment of this article is that changes in immig ra tion and integ ra tion policies
cannot be explained without taking account of the inter ac tion between radical right parties and centre-right parties in (and outside) govern ment. Radical right parties have in all cases entered govern ment as coali tion part ners of centre-right parties. In some respects, the bargain ing posi tion of radical right parties in coali tion nego ti ations and in cabinet meet ings with centre-right parties has been relat ively weak. They have mostly been junior part ners.1 Moreover, radical right parties are situ ated on the far right pole of the left-right continuum, which gives them few coali tion altern at ives (Smith 1991). In these respects they have been at a disad vant age. On the other hand, they some times have the advant age of domin at ing the polit ical agenda with an issue they own, and where there is no party consensus (GreenPedersen and Krogstrup 2008, 612-13). In order to provide more insight into the respect ive
roles of centre-right and radical right parties in coali tion govern ments, a case by case analysis will be presen ted in the last part of the article. To begin with, however, the concept of influ ence needs to be clari fied. The assess ment of
influ ence in office is complic ated by the fact that radical right parties have so far only entered govern ment as coali tion part ners. Even if signi fic ant policy changes occur as a result of their entry into govern ment, it cannot be concluded that these changes are a result of the direct influ ence of radical right parties.