Measuring populist ideology: anti-elite orientation and government status

Todosijević, Bojan and Pavlović, Zoran and Komar, Olivera (2022) Measuring populist ideology: anti-elite orientation and government status. Quality and Quantity, 56 (3). pp. 1611-1629. ISSN 0033-5177 eISSN 1573-7845

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In most contemporary conceptions of populist ideology, anti-elite orientation is considered to be one of its central components. Consequently, instruments designed to measure populism include items intended to capture anti-elitism. Such operationalizations may, however, neglect the interaction with the political status of the relevant actors—that is, parties/leaders. A negative and critical attitude towards the party or parties in government could reflect a populist anti-elite orientation but might also simply represent a negative attitude towards a specific party (which may be affected by pre-existing party identification or a negative government performance evaluation). Hence, such an indicator of populist ideology would then be contaminated by unintended content. This paper uses the Comparative Study of Electoral Systems dataset (with the addition of Serbia) to analyze the average anti-elite scores of parties in different countries. The overall results suggest that the anti-elite scale also captures the attitude towards parties in government. The paper discusses the methodological ramifications of this finding.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Populism, Attitudes, Government evaluation, CSES.
Institutional centre: Centre for political research and public opinion
Depositing User: Vesna Jovanović
Date Deposited: 03 Mar 2022 20:45
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2022 21:23

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