How Right Wing is Right Wing Populism? Evidence from the Manifesto Corpus
36 Pages Posted: 16 Oct 2018
Date Written: April 27, 2018
Right wing populist parties in Europe are clearly different from other right wing parties in their rhetoric and electoral appeal. Some observers see substantive differences between right wing populists and other right wing parties, with populists supporting the welfare state and gender equality more than other right wing parties, often as part of an anti-immigration and anti-Muslim agenda. We test this claim using novel data produced by a multilingual convolutional neural net on political party platforms for the years 1990 to 2015 from the Manifesto Corpus. We find no systematic differences between right wing populists and non-populists on support for welfare and gender equality, though there is some evidence that more successful populists are more centrist.
Keywords: right wing, populism, europe, political party, convolutional neural net, manifesto corpus
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