The Populist Voter

Presented by ANU College of Asia & the Pacific

Horizons Seminar Series

Populism is on the rise. From Brexit to Donald Trump to Victor Orbán to Nicolàs Maduro, populism has dominated the news headlines over the last year. Increasingly, we are beginning to understand populism both from a macro, or supply side perspective, and from a micro, or demand side perspective. Most work so far has focused on the macro level and has explored the manner in which institutional or representational deficiencies, during times of socio-economic modernisation or economic crisis, facilitate the emergence of populist appeals. But not all voters will be susceptible to these populist appeals, and we have far less of an understanding as to why some voters might support a populist, while others will not. Over the last two years, with a group of colleagues in the US and Europe, we have been conducting some experimental research on the populist voter. This talk will try to provide some sort of synthesis for these macro and micro level explantions. Understanding why some voters might be more susceptible than others will have important implications for governance and representation.

David Doyle is an Associate Professor of Politics in the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Oxford, and a Fellow of St Hugh’s College. He is also a member of the Latin American Centre. His general research and teaching interests include comparative politics and comparative political economy, including work on the political economy of the social contract in Latin America; the relationship between remittances and political risk; and experimental work on populism. His research has appeared in journals such as the American Political Science Review, the Journal of Politics, the British Journal of Political Science and Comparative Political Studies.

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