Support for the Populist Radical Right

Author(s)
Johann Gründl, Julian Aichholzer
Abstract

The last several decades have witnessed a structural change in politics toward cultural and identity conflicts, accompanied by the rise of populist radical right (PRR) parties. However, we know surprisingly little about the psychological or cognitive‐motivational factors underlying PRR support. We claim that uncertainty avoidance (UA)—an epistemic avoidance motivation—represents a central motive because UA resonates with the PRR platform and precedes common predictors of PRR voting. Using data from the 2017 Austrian National Election Study, we found that UA was indeed indirectly associated with a higher likelihood of PRR voting. This association is because greater UA fostered right‐wing sociocultural views, whereas associations with populist attitudes or expected government competence were more ambiguous. PRR parties appear to offer “certainty,” but as extreme parties, they also remain a “risky choice.” We conclude by discussing the contribution of a cognitive‐motivational account to explain PRR voting.

Organisation(s)
Department of Government, Vienna Center for Electoral Research
Journal
Political Psychology
Volume
41
Pages
641-659
ISSN
0162-895X
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1111/pops.12643
Publication date
11-2019
Peer reviewed
Yes
Austrian Fields of Science 2012
506012 Political systems, 501021 Social psychology, 504007 Empirical social research, 501004 Differential psychology
Keywords
ASJC Scopus subject areas
Social Psychology, Sociology and Political Science
Portal url
https://ucris.univie.ac.at/portal/en/publications/support-for-the-populist-radical-right(4af126d6-30ae-460e-b397-94ad322663e3).html