This thesis looks at the relationship between the recent rise of far-right parties and their use of the ‘us’ and ‘them’ message frame. In recent years these far-right parties have grown their presence on a variety of media platforms, and in doing so have implemented a plethora of message framing tactics rooted in creating a distinct in and out group. There has simultaneously been growing support for these far-right parties that are translated into votes and legislative seat gains. By implementing a survey experiment, this thesis works to answer the research question: What is the effect of message framing by politicians and far-right parties on their ability to mobilize support from voters? The hypothesis posed looks at whether or not people’s emotional response to the ‘us’ and ‘them’ message framing, specifically fear, and whether or not that plays any role in their likelihood to vote for the candidate. This survey experiment was conducted through MTurk and showed respondents one of two fictitious campaign treatments to gauge their response. This project finds that the ‘us’ and ‘them’ message frame had a minor statistical significance in relation to the level of fear participants reported feeling. It was also determined that fear did not have a statistically significant effect on participants likelihood to vote.


Leiby, Michele

Second Advisor

Professor Fiacre Bienvenu


Political Science


International Relations


Far-Right, Framing, Us/Them, Political Message Framing, Survey Experiment

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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