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The rise of populism and the collapse of the left-right paradigm

Updated on 23 June 2021

Citation

Algan Yann, Beasley Eizabeth, Cohen Daniel & Foucault Marial (2018). The rise of populism and the collapse of the left-right paradigm: Lessons from the 2017 French presidential election. CEPREMAP Working Papers (Docweb) 1805, CEPREMAP.


Abstract

We examine the dislocation from the traditional left-right political axis in the 2017 French election, analyze support for populist movements and show that subjective variables are key to understanding it. Votes on the traditional left-right axis are correlated to ideology concerning redistribution, and predicted by socio-economic variables such as income and social status. Votes on the new diagonal opposing “open vs closed society” are predicted by individual and subjective variables. More specifically, low well-being predicts anti-system opinions (from the left or from the right) while low interpersonal trust (ITP) predicts right-wing populism.

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