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The Russian threat and the consolidation of the West: How populism and EU-skepticism shape party support for Ukraine

Liesbet Hooghe, Gary Marks, Milada Anna Vachudova, Ryan Bakker, Seth Jolly, Jonathan Polk, Jan Rovny, Marco Steenbergen

European Union Politics, March 2024

Seth Jolly

Seth Jolly


Support for Ukraine against Russian aggression has been strong across Europe, but it is far from uniform. An expert survey of the positions taken by political parties in 29 countries conducted mid-2023 reveals that 97 of 269 parties reject one or more of the following: providing weapons, hosting refugees, supporting Ukraine's path to European Union membership, or accepting higher energy costs.

Where the perceived threat from Russia is most severe, we find the greatest levels of support for Ukraine. However, ideology appears to be far more influential. The level of a party's populist rhetoric and its European Union skepticism explain the bulk of variation in support for Ukraine despite our finding that many strongly populist and European Union-skeptical parties take moderate pro-Ukraine positions when in government.