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The appeal of populist ideas, strategies, and styles: A theoretical model and research design for analyzing populist political communication


Wirth, Werner; Esser, Frank; Wettstein, Martin; Engesser, Sven; Wirz, Dominique; Schulz, Anne; Ernst, Nicole; Büchel, Florin; Caramani, Daniele; Manucci, Luca; Steenbergen, Marco R; Bernhard, Laurent; Weber, Edward; Hänggli, Regula; Dalmus, Caroline; Schemer, Christian; Müller, Philipp (2016). The appeal of populist ideas, strategies, and styles: A theoretical model and research design for analyzing populist political communication. NCCR democracy Working Paper series 88, University of Zurich.

Abstract

This working paper approaches the study of populism from an explicit political communication perspective and thereby adds a new and original dimension to the existing literature. It first reviews the existing approaches to populism and then combines them within an integrative framework for populism research. This framework understands populism as ideology, strategy, or style and arranges them in a way that permits the empirical analysis of populism in political communication, media and the attitudes of the people. The framework serves as a guide for developing straightforward instruments to identify and quantitatively measure populism in the self-presentation of actors, in news media and other forms of communication, as well as in public opinion. By virtue of the broadness of the framework, it is applicable to longitudinal and cross-cultural analyses of populism, as well as the investigation of the flow of populist ideology among political actors, the media, and the public. It takes a non-normative and primarily analytical perspective. The working paper has two major aims. First, it is intended to provide a common ground for populism research within Research Module II of the NCCR Democracy at the University of Zurich. Second, it is intended to distribute our framework for investigating the relationship between populism and political communication to other scholars and thereby facilitate cumulative research.

Abstract

This working paper approaches the study of populism from an explicit political communication perspective and thereby adds a new and original dimension to the existing literature. It first reviews the existing approaches to populism and then combines them within an integrative framework for populism research. This framework understands populism as ideology, strategy, or style and arranges them in a way that permits the empirical analysis of populism in political communication, media and the attitudes of the people. The framework serves as a guide for developing straightforward instruments to identify and quantitatively measure populism in the self-presentation of actors, in news media and other forms of communication, as well as in public opinion. By virtue of the broadness of the framework, it is applicable to longitudinal and cross-cultural analyses of populism, as well as the investigation of the flow of populist ideology among political actors, the media, and the public. It takes a non-normative and primarily analytical perspective. The working paper has two major aims. First, it is intended to provide a common ground for populism research within Research Module II of the NCCR Democracy at the University of Zurich. Second, it is intended to distribute our framework for investigating the relationship between populism and political communication to other scholars and thereby facilitate cumulative research.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Working Paper
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Mass Communication and Media Research
Dewey Decimal Classification:700 Arts
Uncontrolled Keywords:populism; survey; content analysis; ideology; communication strategy
Language:English
Date:May 2016
Deposited On:15 Nov 2016 14:16
Last Modified:02 Jun 2017 19:36
Series Name:NCCR democracy Working Paper series
Number of Pages:60
Funders:Schweizerischer Nationalfonds SNF

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