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Date and Location

April 18, 2022
4:00 PM - 5:00 PM ET


Study Group: Populism in Eastern Europe. New types of libertarian populism vs classic authoritarian populism Photo

Join a discussion between Ioana Petrescu and Dan Sultanescu:
We assume that there is a different impact on growing populism in a European country like Romania, in an electoral context (like 2019, with two rounds of elections – European and Presidential) and post-covid context (2021). 
Different academic studies of populism identify two important ideas to define populism: (1) "the people" is the main source of legitimacy, and the politicians must be accepted as serving the people, and (2) the regular people and the politicians elite are two very different groups, with the public being much more fit to rule and govern than the corrupted elite. There are a lot of new measurements of populism, using these approaches, and our idea is to replicate this in a country like Romania. 
We have measured the populism with two questions: 1) ordinary people would do a better job/do no better solving the country’s problems than elected officials and 2) most elected officials care/don’t care what people like me think. These measures are used by scholars studying populism to capture attitudes about an antagonistic relationship between elites and the people (Stanley, 2011; Spruyt et al. 2016; Schulz et al. 2017). Romania is a relatively new democracy, with less civic participation and a lot of traditional values, and society strongly affected by internal and external struggles (the effects of anti-Western propaganda, the crisis in the European Union etc). In Romania, the populist threat should be much more visible and more active than in other European countries. Because of that, we are interested in adding a third variable when measuring populism (3) the level of rejecting all politicians as corrupt and as people that should be sentenced to prison. Using data from 8 surveys from 2019-2021, we will segment the public into different categories, and see if there are different types of populism.
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Speakers and Presenters

​Ioana Petrescu, M-RCBG Senior Fellow; Dan Sultanescu, Research Director & founder of CPD SNSPA