Political Science and Political Economy Research Seminar
Left Behind Voters, Anti-Elitism and Popular Will
Dana Sisak (Erasmus University Rotterdam), joint with Benoit Crutzen and Otto Swank
Tuesday 23 February 2021 14:00 - 15:30
About this event
Two common characteristics of populism are anti-elitism and favoring popular will over expertise. The recent successes of populists are often attributed to the common people, the majority of voters, being left behind by mainstream parties. This paper shows that the two characteristics of populism are responses to the common people being left behind. We develop a model that highlights two forces behind electoral success: numbers and knowledge. Numbers give the common people an electoral advantage, knowledge the elite. We show that electoral competition may lead parties to cater to the elite's interest, creating a left-behind majority. Next, we identify conditions under which a left-behind majority encourages entry by a party offering an anti-elite platform. Finally, we identify conditions under which parties follow the opinion of the common people when that group would benefit from parties relying on experts.
These seminars are held on Tuesdays in term time at 14.00-15.30, ONLINE, unless specified otherwise.
Seminar coordinator: Dr Stephane Wolton
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