Some thoughts about the interplay between welfare attitudes and populism
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This article argues for setting a research agenda to investigate more concretely the interplay between welfare attitudes and support for populist parties. It notes that although much has been written about populism, much less has been written about the interplay between populism and welfare attitudes. In addition, populism has tended to concentrate on rightwing populism while devoting less attention to leftwing populism. Meanwhile, centrist populist parties have been has been even more neglected than leftwing populism. We need to develop a more nuanced view and conduct comparative analyses of the differences in welfare attitudes among leftwing, centrist and rightwing populist voters. Our article also notes that the current databases that have both voting and welfare attitudes often do not include the countries with the most important leftwing populist parties. Another problem is the need to take into account the country context. For example, Podemos in Spain, Syriza in Greece and Smer in Slovakia are all three normally considered to be leftwing populist parties, but only Smer has promoted an anti-immigrant and anti-Roma agenda.
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