“From Stigmatization to Normalization: Social Norms, Preference Falsification and Radical Right Support,” Vicente Valentim, University of Oxford

Event time: 
Friday, April 14, 2023 - 12:00pm to 1:15pm
Institution for Social and Policy Studies (PROS77 ), A002 See map
77 Prospect Street
New Haven, CT 06511
Event description: 


Abstract: Why are individuals more willing to engage in radical-right behavior, such as voting for radical-right candidates or participating in xenophobic protests? Against previous research, I argue that this is not due to an increase in radical right preferences among the electorate. Instead, these increases are driven by individuals who had long held radical-right views, but who would not display them because they thought they were not socially acceptable. This self-sanctioning affected political supply, making worse candidates self-select into politics under a radical-right platform. Once better politicians start running in radical right platforms, they are able to mobilize the muted support for radical-right views. In so doing, voters learn that their views were more acceptable than they had previously thought, and become more comfortable publicly displaying their views. These findings make us rethink how political preferences translate into behavior, show how social norms affect the interaction of political supply and demand, and highlight how a political culture that promotes inclusion can erode.

Vicente Valentim is Postdoctoral Prize Research Fellow at Nuffield College, University of Oxford. He earned his PhD from the European University Institute in 2021. Vicente studies how democracies generate norms against behaviour associated with authoritarianism, how those norms are sustained, and how they erode. He also has a keen interest in political methodology–especially causal inference methods. Vicente’s work has been published or accepted in journals like the Journal of Politics, British Journal of Political Science, or Comparative Political Studies. It has been awarded the ECPR Blondel Prize for best thesis in politics and IR, the GESIS Klingemann Prize for best CSES Scholarship and the EUI Linz-Rokkan Prize for best thesis in Political Sociology. More information about Vicente and his work can be found at his website: www.vicentevalentim.com.

This workshop is open to the Yale community. To receive announcements and invitations to attend, please subscribe at https://csap.yale.edu/american-comparative-political-behavior-workshop.

The series is sponsored by the ISPS Center for the Study of American Politics and The Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale with support from the Edward J. and Dorothy Clarke Kempf Fund.