Header

UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

Learning from precedent: how the British Brexit experience counteracts populism outside the UK


Walter, Stefanie; Martini, Marco (2020). Learning from precedent: how the British Brexit experience counteracts populism outside the UK. In: APSA Annual Meeting 2020, Virtual, 9 September 2020 - 13 September 2020. APSA, 40.

Abstract

With the recent rise of nationalist populism, international institutions worldwide have witnessed an increase in animosities, boycotts, and withdrawals. The British withdrawal from the European Union arguably marks the most significant instance of this phenomenon to date. A growing literature examines the origins of populist successes such as the Brexit vote and explores if similar economic, social, and political conditions could fuel equivalent disintegration processes elsewhere. However, less is known about the extent to which such withdrawal episodes themselves affect populist pressures for re-nationalization. In this paper, we argue that because the first large-scale disintegration episodes such as Brexit provide new information about the feasibility and desirability of re-nationalization policies, they will affect partisan discourse about similar populist projects in other countries: Depending on the success of such precedents, populists abroad will be encouraged or deterred to follow a similar path. We explore this argument based on a quantitative text analyses of media reports in selected European countries. Our results show that populists in Europe significantly moderate their demands as the Brexit-drama unfolds, suggesting that Brexit provides a reality check for populist pro-Leave arguments. We simultaneously see intra-EU cohesion increase and mainstream discourse become more pro-European. We discuss the implications of our findings for populism and international institutions more generally.

Abstract

With the recent rise of nationalist populism, international institutions worldwide have witnessed an increase in animosities, boycotts, and withdrawals. The British withdrawal from the European Union arguably marks the most significant instance of this phenomenon to date. A growing literature examines the origins of populist successes such as the Brexit vote and explores if similar economic, social, and political conditions could fuel equivalent disintegration processes elsewhere. However, less is known about the extent to which such withdrawal episodes themselves affect populist pressures for re-nationalization. In this paper, we argue that because the first large-scale disintegration episodes such as Brexit provide new information about the feasibility and desirability of re-nationalization policies, they will affect partisan discourse about similar populist projects in other countries: Depending on the success of such precedents, populists abroad will be encouraged or deterred to follow a similar path. We explore this argument based on a quantitative text analyses of media reports in selected European countries. Our results show that populists in Europe significantly moderate their demands as the Brexit-drama unfolds, suggesting that Brexit provides a reality check for populist pro-Leave arguments. We simultaneously see intra-EU cohesion increase and mainstream discourse become more pro-European. We discuss the implications of our findings for populism and international institutions more generally.

Statistics

Downloads

114 downloads since deposited on 06 Jan 2021
76 downloads since 12 months
Detailed statistics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper), not_refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Political Science
Dewey Decimal Classification:320 Political science
Language:English
Event End Date:13 September 2020
Deposited On:06 Jan 2021 13:35
Last Modified:25 May 2022 10:46
Publisher:APSA
OA Status:Green
Official URL:https://connect.apsanet.org/apsa2020/

Download

Green Open Access

Download PDF  'Learning from precedent: how the British Brexit experience counteracts populism outside the UK'.
Preview
Language: English
Filetype: PDF (Version August 2020)
Size: 1MB