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Political Research Exchange - PRX

The Rise of Outsider Leaders: A Global Perspective

Comparative Perspective
Despina Alexiadou
University of Strathclyde
Despina Alexiadou
University of Strathclyde
Alexander Baturo
Dublin City University

The studies of the determinants of the rise of outsider leaders and politicians are limited to geographic regions. Drawing on a novel data set on around 2,000 lead- ers from 1950 to 2017, we investigate the possible causes of the rise in outsider politicians across the world democracies. A common assumption is that low trust in politicians explains the rise of outsiders in political posts. Is this true? How do political institutions and regimes condition this effect, if any? In line with a long literature on the differences between parliamentary and presidential regimes, we expect outsider leaders to have easier access to the highest political posts in presidential systems.We contribute to the literature on leadership and political selection.
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