Chapter 28: Populism through surveys: personality, attitudes and behaviour
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Throughout an extensive conceptual and theoretical literature, populism is most often examined under the auspices of a supply-side phenomenon. Besides the overly long debates about the definition of populism, most of the extant populism scholarship has focused on the rhetoric of populist movements, parties and leaders. Recent scholarship has shifted its focus on using survey items to measure populist attitudes. This shift has enabled scholars to study populism both on the supply and the demand sides of politics. The chapter sets out to provide a general overview of this scholarship, identifying three primary axes of research. First, recent research efforts examine how populism relates to individuals’ traits or personalities. Second, a novel research pathway studies the so-called populist citizen, meaning those citizens who are more prone to hold populist attitudes. Third, a broader field of research subsequently analyses those individuals who actively support or vote for populist parties or leaders.

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