Some thoughts about the interplay between welfare attitudes and populism
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Comenius University, Faculty of Social and Economic Sciences, Institute of European Studies and International Relations
Masaryk University, Department of Social Policy and Social Work
Publication date: 2020-07-16
Corresponding author
Steven Saxonberg   

Masaryk University, Institute of Public Policy and Social Work, Joštova 218/10, 602 00 Brno, Czechia and Comenius University, Institute of European Studies Fakulta sociálnych a ekonomických vied UK, Mlynské luhy 4, 821 05 Bratislava, Slovakia
Problemy Polityki Społecznej 2020;48:27-40
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.
Slovak Grant Agency: APVV-17-0596 “Politics of Emotions as a Form of Political Inclusion and Exclusion”, Grant Agency of the Czech Republic:19-12289S for the project “Explaining the Support of New forms of Populism: the Czech Republic and Slovakia in a Comparative Perspective.”
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