BORIS Theses

BORIS Theses
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Populism as a Problem of Social Disintegration? A Comparative Analysis of the Socio-Integrational Underpinnings of Populism in Europe

Filsinger, Maximilian (2022). Populism as a Problem of Social Disintegration? A Comparative Analysis of the Socio-Integrational Underpinnings of Populism in Europe. (Thesis). Universität Bern, Bern

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This project focuses on the explanation of populist attitudes with particular emphasis on the role of social (dis-)integration. Following recent research that breaks up the too rigid conceptualisation of economic and cultural drivers of populism, I extend recent research that understands populism as a problem of social integration (Gidron & Hall, 2020). To do so I use original survey for six European countries and employ a wealth of different measures for populist attitudes and social integration to provide a nuanced picture of the relationship. Based on previous research and the assumption that globalisation and societal modernisation have brought about cultural and economic changes that affect individuals’ perceptions and attitudes, I argue that these developments have created a feeling of social disintegration for certain people in society (Gidron & Hall, 2017, 2020). Going beyond previous research, I argue that social integration as a multidimensional phenomenon requires a multifaceted approach to investigate the question whether social disintegration fosters support for populism. Furthermore, explaining three different forms of populism requires nuanced theoretical arguments that are thus far underdeveloped in the socio-integrational approach. The analyses of original survey data show that social disintegration does play an important role in explaining populist support although this varies with the indicators used and the form of populism investigated. The theoretical and empirical contributions of this book have crucial implications for the study of populism and the way we capture societal and political grievances.

Item Type: Thesis
Dissertation Type: Single
Date of Defense: 7 April 2022
Subjects: 300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 320 Political science
Institute / Center: 03 Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences > Social Sciences > Institute of Political Science
Depositing User: Sarah Stalder
Date Deposited: 28 Feb 2023 15:21
Last Modified: 28 Feb 2023 15:31

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