The rise of right-wing populist parties in Western democracies is often attributed to populists’ ability to instrumentalize news media by making deliberate provocations (e.g., verbal attacks on migrants or politicians from other parties) that generate media coverage and public awareness. To explain the success of populists’ deliberate provocations, we drew from research on populism and scandal theory to develop a theoretical framework that we tested in three studies examining the rise of German right-wing populist party Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) between January 2015 and December 2018. In Study 1, an input–output analysis of 17 deliberate provocations by AfD politicians in German news media revealed much more coverage about their attacks on migrants than about their attacks on political elites, although all were covered in predominantly scandalizing ways. Next, Study 2, involving media database research and an analysis of Google Trends data, showed that the provocations had increased overall media coverage about the AfD and influenced public awareness of the party
How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected attitudes of host citizens towards refugees and migrants? A large literature, mostly in Global North contexts, links disease threat with increased xenophobia. Indeed, recent studies on the effects of COVID-19 have found an increase in hate crimes and anti-migrant attitudes, particularly when political elites exclude and blame migrants for the pandemic. We examine the case of Venezuelan migrants in Colombia, in which elite rhetoric and immigration policies have been largely inclusive. Using a panel experimental survey of 374 Colombian respondents, supplemented by 550 new respondents at endline, we find no evidence that exposure to COVID-19 changes Colombians' attitudes towards Venezuelans, even if the respondents were directly affected by COVID. In fact, we find some evidence of empathy. Our research implies that xenophobia in reaction to pandemics is not a foregone conclusion, but likely a product of political scapegoating.
Populist attitudes are generally measured in surveys through three necessary and non-compensatory elements of populism, namely anti-elitism, people-centrism, and Manicheanism. Using Comparative Study of Electoral Systems Module 5 (2016–2020) data for 30 countries, we evaluate whether this approach explains voting for populist parties across countries in Asia, Europe and the Americas. We show that the existing scales of populist attitudes effectively explain voting for populists in countries where populist leaders and parties are in opposition but fail to explain voting for populist parties in countries where they are in power. We argue that current approaches assume “the elite” to mean “politicians”, thus failing to capture attitudes towards “non-political elites” often targeted by populists in office—in particular, journalists, academics/experts, bureaucrats, and corporate business leaders. The results reveal limits to the usefulness of existing survey batteries in cross-national studies of populism and emphasize the need to develop approaches that are more generalizable across political and national contexts.
Relations between Brussels and Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) worsened during and after the 2015 migration crisis. In order to see to what extent CEE citizens contributed to and/or resonated with this new state of affairs, this paper investigates public opinion before the migration crisis in seven CEE EU Member States. We inquire whether the main issues of the rift (CEE political elites’ opposition to following EU decisions and immigration and their emphasis on sovereignism, nationalism, Christian Europe and historical traumas) could also be traced to public stances towards these issues before the migration crisis. We used the ISSP National Identity module conducted in 2013 and 2014 in the Czech Republic, Estonia, Croatia, Hungary, Lithuania, Latvia and Slovenia. The results show that opposition to EU supranationalism was not linked to ethnic nationalism and religious identity (except in Hungary). Contrary to political elites, who emphasised the cultural threat posed by migration, public opinion was more concerned with the economic threat. Moreover, the perception of cultural threat was not linked to opposing EU supranationalism in any of the countries. However, particularly support for sovereignism (in almost all the countries), but also pride in national history (in some countries) correlated negatively with support for EU supranationalism. The results suggest that political elites can bypass public opinion to construct an anti-EU climate, however not out of thin air. The conditions for such a process were present in Hungary with its emerging transnational cleavage, which shows the importance of cleavages in studying Euroscepticism.
The article uses Eric Voegelin’s ontology to address domestic processes in contemporary Ukraine. It explains how interpretations of experiences of history and transcendence evoke political order and justice. It also outlines the nature of political symbols deriving from these experiences. The article argues that Ukraine’s social architecture is constructed according to a set of arrangements that are generally regarded as moral and functional under given circumstances. As a result, it provides political elites a platform from which to build a plan of action and gain legitimacy. The article not only shows how Voegelin’s ontology can be used to explain Zelensky’s 2019 presidential election victory but also highlights its interpretative advantages over competing analytical approaches from within the frameworks of institutionalism and behaviorism.
Throughout the history, the formation of the constitutional state has been the first experience of the modern state in Iran. The change in power relations and the restriction of authoritarian power were among the most important issues of constitutional state. The current study aims at investigating the reasons for transition from Constitutional state to an authoritarian bureaucratic state by adopting Laclau and Mouffe’s framework to political discourse analysis. Research methodology is descriptive-analytical conducted by library–based data. The results showed that the constitutional revolution transformed the power structure and traditional state, but the constitutional revolution failed to create a new order. Despite legal provisions such as the formation of the parliamentary system and the constitution, the constitutional state was unable to exercise its legal power. The co-existence of traditional and reactionary components such as the Khānins, tribal leaders, tribal populations and owners in line with modern elements, intellectuals and the heterogeneity of the ruling political elites made the constitutional revolution incapable of producing profound politico-social changes. As a result, a number of internal and external factors such as financial crisis, tribal power, the imperialist treaty of 1907,disillusionment of political elites, the formation of centrifugal forces, insecurity and global chaos and development of neighboring countries, diversity of ideological in line with geopolitical points of view have been the most important factors in the transition to the authoritarian bureaucratic state of Pahlavi and the failure of the nation – building process and the collapse of politico-constitutional system in Iran.
The article is devoted to the relevant issues of international relations in the Maghreb subregion, which became especially acute after the rupture of diplomatic relations between Algeria and Morocco in August 2021. The authors analyze the general parameters of the Maghreb subsystem of international relations and identify key trends in the internal political development of its member states. The growing tension in the bilateral relations between Algeria and Morocco is only a symptom of the general crisis of the regional subsystem. The study is based on the analysis of a wide array of information and analytical materials and documents, as well as the authors field research in the border regions of Morocco (2019) and Algeria (2018, 2019) and interviews with Maghreb politicians (2020, 2021). The first part of the article highlights the key parameters of the Maghreb subsystem, describes its internal architecture, reveals the interconnections with other regional subsystems, and identifies the development trends of the Maghreb that took shape in the 2010s. The second part analyzes the internal political dynamics in Libya, Tunisia and Algeria. The current situation in each country can be described as an impasse, both in terms of the development of the democratic process and the possibilities for national consolidation on an authoritarian basis. The political elites of the region are unable to offer realistic strategies for state development and it leads to the growing alienation of societies. The third part of the article reveals the implications of political development crises for the regional relations. The authors conclude by putting forward a scenario of a partial reorientation of a number of Maghreb states from a deeper Mediterranean integration to finding other allies. They also identify prospects for rebalancing relations of Maghreb states with their Arab partners. In the framework of these processes the elites can use conflicting foreign policy agenda for the national consolidation of some countries. Finally, the authors raise the question of seeking new models of state and regional development in the Maghreb.
Digital technologies have changed the public arena, but there is little scholarly consensus about how they have done so. This Element lays out a new framework for the digitally mediated public arena by identifying structural changes and continuities with the pre-digital era. It examines three country cases – the United States, Germany, and China. In these countries and elsewhere, the emergence of new infrastructures such as search engines and social media platforms increasingly mediate and govern the visibility and reach of information, and thus reconfigure the transmission belt between citizens and political elites. This shift requires a rethinking of the workings and dysfunctions of the contemporary public arena and ways to improve it.