European Populism

A third research focus is the political economy of European populism.

In a paper with Jeffry Frieden, we examine whether labor market spending affects support for populist political parties opposed to European integration and globalization. Examining a panel of nearly 200 elections held in western Europe from 1990-2017 and analyzing pooled cross-sectional data from eight waves of the European Social Survey, we find evidence that populist parties are less successful where public spending on welfare is higher and has been cut less substantially from historical levels. The research suggests that, while the growing strength of populist political parties is rooted in long-term economic and cultural changes, compensatory social spending may moderate their appeal.