Chapter 4: Integrating environmental issues within party manifestos: exploring trends across European welfare states
Open access

The climate crisis is challenging the existing structures of the economy, welfare states and societies. Based on the comparative Manifesto Project Database, this chapter studies the long-term trends in the salience of different issues in party manifestos across welfare states and employ network analytical tools to study the degree of integration of the environmental and social policy domain. Our findings show a trend towards an increasing importance of environmental issues in party manifestos, mainly driven by ecological parties. Major differences across Europe exist with parties in some countries putting systematically more weight on environmental aspects than others. The network analysis confirms that environmental issues take a central position in the party programs of ecological parties, while the environmental focus is weaker for conservative, nationalist, and socialist and social-democratic parties. The connectedness between the environmental and the social policy domain is highest in ecological parties irrespective of the welfare regime.