Professor Mabel Berezin said Cyprus is just the latest in a series of economic crises damaging the credibility of the political parties that have been ruling some European nations.
As a result, she said, right-wing parties are winning more votes. Berezin said some right-wing parties, known for their anti-immigrant stance, are putting more focus on pocket-book issues.
“Parties that were considered not respectable to vote for in the past are looking more and more respectable, partly because their arguments are resonating with more and more people. Now their arguments are more economic arguments,” she said.
Berezin said frustration with economic problems is fueling a growing nationalist sentiment, which could strain the bonds holding the European Union together.
“I’m wondering whether or not they will succeed in actually pulling apart the European project. It is hard to imagine, but there is definitely an anti-Europe sentiment that is gaining ground,” she said.
Berezin researches why and how political ideas spread. Much of her work focuses on Europe.