To what extent do European citizens have a populist view of politics? Under what conditions are these populist attitudes more prevalent? What are their political consequences in terms of individual behavior? The talk will present an overview of the causes and consequences of populist attitudes in Europe using comparative and longitudinal survey data. The effect of economic conditions (both objective and perceived), emotional reactions of anger and fear, and internal political efficacy are explored. Our evidence suggests that populism is more related to sociotropic perceptions than to objective economic hardship, and to anger than to fear. Populist attitudes seem to be also powerful mobilisatory motivations for political engagement, particularly for people with low levels of income and education.
I am professor of political science at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona where I am also ICREA Academia research fellow. I direct the research group on Democracy, Elections and Citizenship and I have until recently directed also the Master in Political Science. I am currently 2018-19 fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioural Sciences at Stanford University. My main areas of research deal with different aspects of citizens’ involvement in politics in advanced democracies. This includes an interest in the causes and consequences of electoral turnout, political protest, digital media and political attitudes. I am also interested in attitudes towards corruption and in survey and experimental methodology. Recently my research has focused on the attitudinal consequences of the economic crisis, with a special focus on populist attitudes. In my next project I intend to explore how individuals’ attitudes towards gender equality and feminism change along time.