The Effects of Populist Identity Framing on Populist Attitudes Across Europe: Evidence From a 15-Country Comparative Experiment

Michael Hameleers, Desirée Schmuck, Anne Schulz, Dominique Stefanie Wirz, Jörg Matthes, Linda Bos, Nicoleta Corbu, Ioannis Andreadis
2021 International journal of public opinion research  
We investigate the effects of populist messages that (a) stress the centrality of "ordinary" people, (b) shift blame to the "corrupt" elites, or (c) combine people centrality and antielitist cues on 3 dimensions of populist attitudes: anti-elitism, homogeneous people, and popular sovereignty. We conducted an extensive 15-country experiment in which we manipulated populist communication as social identity frames (N = 7,271). Multilevel analyses demonstrate that messages stressing the centrality
more » ... f the ordinary people activate all dimensions of populist attitudes. In contrast, anti-elite messages activate anti-elitism attitudes only for those individuals with lower levels of education and extreme positions on the ideological left–right spectrum. Our findings suggest that populist political communication plays a key role in activating populist attitudes across Europe.
doi:10.1093/ijpor/edaa018 fatcat:vpnk57nsmfhdbm4lm565oqolxq