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Measuring Populism, Parties and Democracy

Party Manifestos
Populism
Methods
P199
Andrej Zaslove
Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen
Stijn van Kessel
Queen Mary, University of London

Thursday 11:00 - 12:40 (05/09/2019)

Building: Institute of Geography Floor: 3rd floor Room: 336

Abstract

It appears that populism is here to stay. Most European parties boast a populist party. Some countries have several. While others have both left and right-wing populist parties. With the success of populist parties, we know more about populism than ever. Less controversy exists over defining populism. We know more about the causes of populism, in particular left and right-wing populist parties. Yet, where there is room for advances is in data collection. In this panel, we are interested in what innovations new forms of supply side data collection can bring to the discussion regarding populism. The papers employ three original supply side datasets to measure populist parties. The question is: by improving our data collection techniques, are we able to develop new insights into populist parties, especially regarding core issues such as the people and the elite, questions of democratic representation, and regarding mapping different dimensions of populist parties? The first paper by, Franzmann and Lewandowsky, is interested in the content of the people and the elite. It is well established that populist parties posit a pure people vs. the corrupt elite. But the question is: do populist parties differ regarding who the people are? And who constitutes the elite? In order to test this question, the authors employ a new dataset (Comparative Party-Based Populism Dataset (CPPD) that codes party programs overtime and between countries. The second paper, by Ruth-Lovell, Welp, and Wiesehomeier uses an expert survey from Latin American to examine the link between direct democracy and populism. The, Political Representation, Parties, and Presidents Survey (PREPPS) dataset, maps the preferences of 156 political parties and 18 presidents in 18 Latin American. This paper contrasts these preferences with the degree of populism these actors espouse. The question driving this paper is: to what extent do populist parties differ regarding notions of direct democracy? Finally, the paper by Meijers and Zaslove introduces a new expert survey, the Populism and Political Parties Expert Survey (POPPA). The POPPA survey is unique in that it has a continuous measure for every party in all European party systems. In this paper, the authors address two issues. First, they demonstrate that it is possible to measure populism with expert surveys. Second, they show the advantages of using expert surveys to measure populist parties. The authors illustrate, that for the first time we can compare the degree of populism between parties. And second, we are able to map populist parties along different dimensions, ranging from how parties organize to where they should be place along different ideological dimensions. All three of these papers address two important issues. They examine the degree to which we can use innovative supply side measures for measuring populist parties. And second, they highlight that by using these new innovative measures that we can enhance our knowledge of populist parties, i.e. regarding important issues such as the relationship between populism and democratic representation, conceptions of the people and the elite and attaching ideological dimensions.

Title Details
The Will of the People? Populism and Support for Direct Democracy View Paper Details
The Ins and Outs of Measuring Populism with Expert Surveys View Paper Details
Italy, the Promised Land of Populism? Evidence from an Expert Survey on European Parties and Social Media Big Data View Paper Details
Identifying Left- And Right-Wing Populist Parties with Expert Surveys View Paper Details