Why Populism? How Parties Shape the Electoral Fortune of Populists
35 Pages Posted: 19 Sep 2018
Date Written: September 2018
Much of the literature on populism restricts itself to specific regional contexts. Due to this approach, theories of populism have difficulty explaining cross-regional similarities or differences (such as the prevalence of exclusive populist parties in Europe but inclusive parties in Latin America). Using cross-regional data and exploratory case studies from multiple regions, we provide evidence that the prevalence of populism in a given party system is a function of both party institutionalization and electoral institutions. The combination of these factors we term institutional hostility. In laying out our theory we identify three ways in which populist parties enter party systems and contest elections: populist entry, populist targeting and adaptation, and populist capture.
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