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 reaction against cultural changes that threaten the worldview of once-predominant sectors of the population.
Professor Pippa Norris (PhD LSE) is the McGuire Lecturer in Comparative Politics at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, ARC Laureate Fellow and Professor of Government and International Relations at the University of Sydney, and Director of the Electoral Integrity Project. She has served as an expert consultant for many international bodies including the UN, UNESCO, NDI, the Council of Europe, International IDEA, the OSCE, the World Bank, the National Endowment for Democracy, and the UK Electoral Commission. Career honors include the 2014 Karl Deutsch award for cross-disciplinary research, the 2011 Johan Skytte prize in political science, with Ronald Inglehart, the 2011 Kathleen Fitzpatrick Australian Laureate Fellowship, the 2015 Brown Democracy Medal, a ‘special recognition’ award by the UK Political Science Association, and a Doctor honoris causa by the University of Edinburgh and Warwick University, as well as book prizes. She has published more than forty books, including: Radical Right: Voters and Parties in the Electoral Market (2005) and Why Electoral Integrity Matters (2014).
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