Economic explanations vs. cultural concerns. These two branches of research have been established as the two major approaches in understanding the electoral success of radical populist parties. As for economic hardship, the feeling of neglect by established parties and political discontent are considered as mechanisms translating into the preference of anti-establishment parties with a people-centrist rhetoric. From a cultural perspective, radical populist voting has been linked to people holding on to more conservative viewpoints and rejecting the perceived predominance of trends such as multiculturalism and postmaterialism they assume established parties to focus on. While there is evidence suggesting that an unfavorable socioeconomic status does foster voting in favor of populist parties, multiple previous studies agree that cultural or political concerns surpass the explanatory power of economic insecurity in that regard (e.g. Mudde & Rovira Kaltwasser, 2018; Oesch, 2008, Ramiro & Gomez, 2017). Nonetheless, economic approaches of populist voting should not be discarded. Instead, the inconsistency across previous studies in terms of evidence hints at the possibly crucial impact of the research design on the results to be obtained. In this respect, the predominant use of aggregate data in the field does not allow for conclusions on individual voting behavior whereas even the analysis of individual-level data often comes along with a static perspective on single-election years which makes the results context-dependent and limits their generalizability. Next to the substantial investigation on which aspects of socioeconomic hardship increase support for populism, it is another objective of this thesis to contribute to the state of research by illustrating the methodological impact on the evidence yielded. In order to achieve that, this thesis consists of four substudies, each approaching the research question from another perspective to provide a comprehensive overview on socioeconomic drivers of populist voting. Relying on survey data from the Belgian Election Study 2014, for a start it is analyzed if socioeconomic deprivation shapes populist attitudes. For that, both the individual and the contextual situation are considered. Another deepening of knowledge pursued in the first empirical chapter is the disentanglement of three attitude dimensions which are part of the rhetoric used by populist parties but have been cumulated in previous studies (i.e. anti-immigration views, people-centrism, and anti-elitism). The evidence suggests that populist views are stronger among persons with a lower level of education and a stronger sense of relative deprivation. The effect of relative deprivation on people-centrist views is furthermore stronger when the local surroundings are characterized by higher financial wealth. In the second empirical study, the outcome to be explained is the actual voting behavior in favor of a populist party, using the example of Flemish Interest (Vlaams Belang). Again, the analysis is taking place on a small-scale contextual level. The longitudinal perspective on Flemish municipalities covering the period from 2006 to 2018 is an additional contribution. Through the estimation of fixed effects panel regression models, possible sources of biased findings may be partially eliminated. This advantageous statistical method is not only exploited for substantial purposes but also to point out its benefits when contrasting it to other longitudinal strategies, such as separate year-specific and pooled models. Unexpectedly, the local unemployment rate is negatively related to the aggregate success of Vlaams Belang. Nonetheless, the comparison across analytical approaches underlines the relevance of advantageous statistical methods that reduce the risk of an omitted variable biasand allow to consider time trends. The third chapter also relies on a longitudinal design and illustrates the analytical benefits of panel data but gives attention to the individual level, using information from the Dutch LISS panel survey. Like in the previous sub-study, there is evidence illustrating the analytical potential of panel data. In substantial terms, however, multiple characteristics of individual deprivation do not significantly influence the support for radical populist parties. The fourth and final empirical chapter broadens the perspective in several regards as it gives up the previous focus on single countries in favor of a cross-country analysis on the election for the European Parliament 2019. What is more, another form of voting behavior is considered that is theoretically similar to populist voting, namely abstaining. With that alternative outcome being part of the study, additional analyses are conducted to identify attitudinal mechanisms which explain the preference for either populist voting or abstaining. Both prove to be more likely than mainstream party voting among person with a low educational level and frequent educational difficulties. An unfavorable position on the labor market, however, comes along only with an increased tendency of abstention. If socioeconomic vulnerability translates into anti-immigration views, however, radical populist voting is more likely than mainstream party voting or abstaining whereas an emerging political disinterest and feeling of powerlessness explain why socioeconomically vulnerable persons rather choose not to vote at all. The tendency of mainstream party voting is reduced if unemployment or financial troubles translate into the disapproval of politics but neither radical populist party voting nor abstaining are boosted more than the other.
Socioeconomic Deprivation and the Support for Populism: A Study on Individual and Contextual Determinants / Kolander, Michael Wolfgang Werner. - (2022 Apr 22), pp. 1-219.
|Titolo:||Socioeconomic Deprivation and the Support for Populism: A Study on Individual and Contextual Determinants|
|Anno di pubblicazione:||2022-04-22|
|Struttura:||Dipartimento di Sociologia e Ricerca Sociale|
|Corso di dottorato:||Sociology and Social Research (within the School in Social Sciences, till the a.y. 2010-11)|
|Relatore:||Veltri, Giuseppe Alessandro|
|Supervisore/Relatore di tesi dell'ateneo partner, nel caso di percorso in co-tutela di tesi:||Luijkx, Ruud; Abts, Koen|
|Tesi in cotutela:||sì|
|Paese e nome dell'Istituzione/ente esterno in caso di cotutela o collaborazioni internazionali:||PAESI BASSI|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||08.1 Tesi di dottorato (Doctoral Thesis)|