Honors College Theses

A Revolutionary Norm: Socialism in the United States vs. Europe

Publication Date



Political Science (B.A.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Jamie Scalera


What causes socialist political candidates in the United States (US) to be viewed as “radical” compared to their European counterparts? I argue that polarization caused by the prevalence of a two-party system in the US causes socialism to be seen as “radical” compared to the European multi-party systems. I test my expectations about American perceptions of socialism using an original survey of over 175 undergraduate students and contrast it with an observational analysis of the perceptions of socialism in Europe. I find that the media, familial ideology, and party representation play an important role in determining American’s perceptions of socialism.

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