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The (partial) Activation of Populist Attitudes: Evidence from Contemporary Chile

Political Psychology
Populism
Methods
Kirk Hawkins
Brigham Young University
Cristóbal Rovira Kaltwasser
Universidad Diego Portales
Kirk Hawkins
Brigham Young University
Cristóbal Rovira Kaltwasser
Universidad Diego Portales

Abstract

Even though established political figures and parties dominate the electoral scene in Chile today, there is evidence that existing political parties have growing problems to develop roots in society. As a consequence, academic and pundits alike have argued that there is a fertile soil for the rise of populism in contemporary Chile. To shed light on this topic, in this paper we present some preliminary data on both demand for and the supply of populism in contemporary Chile. These include both pre-electoral survey data and a textual analysis of campaign speeches. The main argument of our paper is that there is some demand for populism and a growing supply of populist parties or leaders who are trying to capitalize on it, but for now populist attitudes are rather latent and no political figure has been able to fully activate them.