“The Effect of Populist Rhetoric on Beliefs and Policy Preferences,” Paul Lendway, Yale

Event time: 
Wednesday, November 17, 2021 - 12:00pm to 1:15pm
Rosenkranz Hall (RKZ), 102 See map
115 Prospect Street
New Haven, CT 06511
Event description: 


Abstract: Recent research has experimentally identified that populist rhetoric can induce changes ranging from affect to policy preferences. Scholars have also made theoretical claims about populism’s effects, such as the argument that it can diminish liberal democracy and even lead to authoritarianism. Less explored is how populism operates. This paper fills that gap by proposing the group reclassification theory (GRT) of populism. Consistent with prior research, GRT assumes that populism operates as a process that concurrently delegitimizes the populist’s targeted out-group while legitimizing the populist, the populist’s followers, and their will. By framing the delegitimized out-group as acting in violation of social norms and values, GRT proposes that populist attacks serve as a moral justification for the in-group to also violate values and norms in order to rectify the out-group’s transgressions. GRT departs from previous work on populism in that it is a more general theoretical framework that allows for more populist end states than a reduction of liberal democracy or authoritarianism. Several national survey experiments test and provide compelling evidence for GRT.

Paul Lendway is a PhD candidate in Political Science at Yale University specializing in American political behavior. Prior to Yale, he received a Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Pennsylvania and served as the Office of Undergraduate Studies Business Manager at Virginia Tech.

This workshop is open to the Yale community only and will be held in a hybrid format. Current Yale faculty, students, and staff are encouraged to attend in person. Participants will also be able to attend remotely on Zoom. To receive announcements and invitations to attend, please subscribe at https://csap.yale.edu/american-politics-public-policy-workshop.