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Populist positions in party competition: Do parties strategically vary their degree of populism in reaction to vote and office loss?


Breyer, Magdalena (2023). Populist positions in party competition: Do parties strategically vary their degree of populism in reaction to vote and office loss? Party Politics, 29(4):672-684.

Abstract

This paper assesses how parties strategically vary their populist positions in party competition. The useful conceptualization of populism as a matter of degree has been established by previous studies. However, we know little about the conditions that drive parties to alter their degree of populism and, importantly, whether this varies between mainstream and populist parties. This paper analyzes the impact of vote and office loss on parties’ populist position-taking. It draws upon German and Austrian parliamentary debate speeches from the 1990s until 2018. Populism is measured using a dictionary method, an automated text analysis approach. The results show that parties react to contextual incentives by altering their degree of populism. Mainstream and populist parties are more populist when in opposition. Electoral losses affect mainstream and populist parties less clearly. The contribution of this paper is to integrate research on populism with a theoretical framework on party competition.

Abstract

This paper assesses how parties strategically vary their populist positions in party competition. The useful conceptualization of populism as a matter of degree has been established by previous studies. However, we know little about the conditions that drive parties to alter their degree of populism and, importantly, whether this varies between mainstream and populist parties. This paper analyzes the impact of vote and office loss on parties’ populist position-taking. It draws upon German and Austrian parliamentary debate speeches from the 1990s until 2018. Populism is measured using a dictionary method, an automated text analysis approach. The results show that parties react to contextual incentives by altering their degree of populism. Mainstream and populist parties are more populist when in opposition. Electoral losses affect mainstream and populist parties less clearly. The contribution of this paper is to integrate research on populism with a theoretical framework on party competition.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Political Science
Dewey Decimal Classification:320 Political science
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Sociology and Political Science
Uncontrolled Keywords:Sociology and Political Science
Language:English
Date:1 July 2023
Deposited On:19 Dec 2022 10:56
Last Modified:29 Mar 2024 02:36
Publisher:Sage Publications
ISSN:1354-0688
OA Status:Hybrid
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1177/13540688221097082
Project Information:
  • : FunderSNSF
  • : Grant ID185204
  • : Project TitleSocial Status and the Transformation of Electoral Behavior in Western Europe
  • Content: Published Version
  • Language: English
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)