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Populist Attitudes in Contemporary Democracies

Democracy
Political Psychology
Populism
Methods
P286
Anne Schulz
University of Zurich
Marco Steenbergen
University of Zurich

Friday 15:50 - 17:30 (28/08/2015)

Building: Jean-Brillant Floor: 2 Room: B-2305

Abstract

Populist parties are undoubtedly gaining ground within the world’s established democracies. Scholars are seeking to explain this success by setting up analyses on all levels. This panel will seek for explanations that are rooted on the individual level by focusing on the populist voter and his particular mind set. The investigation of populist attitudes (sometimes referred to in the literature as the demand for populism within a society) is highly promising as the concept can serve as a predictor for vote choice (Stanley 2011). It may also explain communicative strategies chosen by political actors trying to capitalize on populist attitudes (Hawkins & Rovira Kaltwasser, in progress). The dispersal of populist attitudes within a society can accordingly be understood as part of the political opportunity structure that can contribute to the success of political populist parties (Mudde 2010). It is therefore highly important to learn more about how political attitudes are structured and how these attitudes are related to other beliefs. Even though the search for populist attitudes may be seen as the most advanced branch of populism research that is set on the individual level, many questions remain open. A comparably small number of studies has been dedicated to the development of a measurement for populist attitudes. Existing measurements differ and populism research is still missing a standardized instrument that can be employed in comparative research. The panel will allow for the exchange of different approaches to populist attitudes. Three presentations will focus on populist attitudes measured in different countries whereas a fourth presentation discusses under which conditions populist attitudes can successfully influence mainstream society.

Title Details
‘We the People’ or ‘We the Peoples’? A Comparison of Left- and Right-Wing Populists View Paper Details
The (partial) Activation of Populist Attitudes: Evidence from Contemporary Chile View Paper Details
Populist Attitudes as a Multidimensional Concept View Paper Details
Current Populist Attitudes and its Impact on Political Mainstream in European Liberal Democratic Regimes View Paper Details