Parties and Voters in the Populist Market: Left and right populism in France and the Netherlands

Abstract : The literature on populism has been split, reflecting the distribution of the populist phenomenon across regions, i.e. left-wing populism in Southern Europe and Latin America, and right-wing populism in Northern Europe (Mudde and Kaltwasser 2013). There are only few cases where populist parties and voters both left and right are found to coexist and compete within the same political system. More recently, there has been a complexification of the populist ‘market’ across a number of countries, however. While competing against the mainstream, populist parties in those countries are also fishing from the same pool of voters dissatisfied with ‘old’ politics and traditional party elites, thereby competing against each other from different party system locations. Little is known of what may unite and oppose populist voters operating across both sides of the left-right spectrum in a given polity. Whilst we may expect populist voters to differ according to their attaching ideology, there may be more convergence on political attitudes –i.e. the core of populism defined as a Manichean representation of politics- as well as attitudes towards the EU which are increasingly associated with populist mobilization. In this paper, these possible commonalities of populist mobilization are examined cross-nationally from two voter surveys conducted in France and the Netherlands. Both countries provide suitable cases where relevant populist parties are found in both their radical left and radical right manifestations. This study aims to assess the relationships of varieties and/or common similarities of populism within a same context, when confronting similar institutional constraints and competitive incentives. Its findings have important implications for our understanding of the electoral dynamics of competition within a ‘populist market’, which, as recent developments in populist politics worldwide suggest, may become an increasingly relevant phenomenon across a range of actors and contexts, and a promising research area.
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Submitted on : Sunday, September 10, 2017 - 3:44:14 PM
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Gilles Ivaldi, Andrej Zaslove. Parties and Voters in the Populist Market: Left and right populism in France and the Netherlands. ECPR General Conference 2017, European Consortium for Political Research, Sep 2017, Oslo, Norway. ⟨halshs-01584916⟩

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