This paper focuses on resolving the false dichotomy between the economic grievance and cultural backlash theses commonly presented in the literature on Right-Wing Populist attitude formation. It elaborates on Gidron and Hall’s social integration thesis by introducing the socioeconomic declinism thesis, which combines social, cultural, and economic factors when measuring Right-Wing populist attitudes. The interaction between the cultural backlash, social integration, and economic grievance theories provides a more holistic account of why right-wing populist attitudes form. This study pulls from the European Social Survey Round 8 to conduct a large-N statistical analysis of two compiled indices—the socioeconomic integration index and the right-wing populist attitude index. Findings reveal a correlation between feelings of socioeconomic decline and right-wing populist attitudes. Determining why people formulate sympathy to populist ideas and leaders can help to dismantle populist support and reintegrate marginalized individuals into society without demonizing an outgroup.
Recommended CitationRettberg, Kayley (2020) "Socioeconomic Declinism and Right-Wing Populist Support," Res Publica - Journal of Undergraduate Research: Vol. 25
Available at: https://digitalcommons.iwu.edu/respublica/vol25/iss1/17