Ben Stanley (SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities)
"Voting Populist or Just Voting for Populists? A Comparative Analysis of Populist Attitudes and Vote Choice in Central and Eastern Europe"
This paper uses data from a new survey on populism and voting behaviour in eight countries of Central and Eastern Europe to examine the relationship between populist attitudes, ideological attitudes, and voting behaviour. In keeping with the 'pathological normalcy' theory of populism (Mudde 2010), we find that populist attitudes are commonplace rather than ‘niche’ in character, and that they are associated with a radicalisation of mainstream ideological issues rather than with a discrete set of concerns. However, there is little evidence that populist attitudes have a direct and significant influence on voting behaviour. The paper extends the comparative reach of an emerging body of research into populist attitudes in Western Europe and Latin America, and also contributes to ongoing methodological work on the measurement of populist attitudes.