Jane Green (University of Oxford)
Testing the economic basis of populism: new insights into the economic drivers of the Brexit vote
You can learn more about Professor Green by clicking here.
Where and When: Friday, February 7, 2020 at 3:00pm. Room C-2059, Lionel Groulx, UdeM.
Abstract: There is a debate about the role of economic factors in explaining votes for populism versus cultural, race or immigration concerns. This presentation argues for different individual-level concepts and measures that can more directly, and relevantly, help us assess the economic basis of populism. Analysing the vote for Brexit, I will show that household income fails to capture an additional effect of wealth among higher income voters. ‘Insured’ voters, with higher property wealth, are morelikely to vote for Brexit (contrary to existing assumptions). This finding is replicated over datasets and also investigated in a survey experiment. Taking a novel conceptual turn, I further show how combining immigration and economic explanations provides new insights into the group-based economic vote for Brexit. Beliefs about racial (and geographic) relative economic gains and losses provides novel insights. This finding is also explored using US data with respect to support for Donald Trump. I will also reveal how in-work older males, and out-of-work younger males, hold perceptions of discrimination against men, and that these attitudes in turn provide a robust and additional explanation for the Brexit vote. The implications of these findings are important for how much weight we give to economic explanations for populism across cases, and how these behaviours should be theorised, measured and tested.
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This series is sponsored by the Centre for the Study of Democratic Citizenship, which is funded by the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Société et culture (FRQSC).