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RWP16 026 Norris.pdf


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Trump, Brexit, and the rise of Populism



7/29/16 8:20 PM

Draft 7/29/16 8:20 PM





Trump, Brexit, and the rise of Populism:
Economic have-nots and cultural backlash

Ronald F. Inglehart and Pippa Norris
Ronald F. Inglehart

Pippa Norris

Institute for Social Research

McGuire Lecturer in Comparative Politics

University of Michigan

John F. Kennedy School of Government

Ann Arbor,

Harvard University

Michigan, 48106-1248

Cambridge, MA 02138

RFI@umich.edu

Pippa_Norris@Harvard.edu

www.worldvaluessurvey.org

www.pippanorris.com


Abstract: Rising support for populist parties has disrupted the politics of many Western societies. What
explains this phenomenon? Two theories are examined here. Perhaps the most widely-held view of mass
support for populism -- the economic insecurity perspective--emphasizes the consequences of profound
changes transforming the workforce and society in post-industrial economies. Alternatively, the cultural
backlash thesis suggests that support can be explained as a retro reaction by once-predominant sectors
of the population to progressive value change. To consider these arguments, Part I develops the
conceptual and theoretical framework. Part II of the study uses the 2014 Chapel Hill Expert Survey (CHES)
to identify the ideological location of 268 political parties in 31 European countries. Part III compares the
pattern of European party competition at national-level. Part IV uses the pooled European Social Survey
1-6 (2002-2014) to examine the cross-national evidence at individual level for the impact of the economic
insecurity and cultural values as predictors of voting for populist parties. Part V summarizes the key
findings and considers their implications. Overall, we find the most consistent evidence supporting the
cultural backlash thesis.
Keywords: populist parties and leaders, radical right, elections, democracy, cultural value change,
economic insecurity
Paper for the roundtable on “Rage against the Machine: Populist Politics in the U.S., Europe and Latin
America”, 10.00-11.30 on Friday 2 September 2016, annual meeting of the American Political Science
Association, Philadelphia.



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