chapter  2
Populisms in Europe
Leftist, rightist, centrist and paternalist–nationalist challengers
ByZsolt Enyedi, Martin Mölder
Pages 41

The chapter demonstrates that populist parties group to leftist, centrist, neoliberal and paternalistic-nationalistic types. The leftist populists are clearly distinct from the rest both culturally and economically, while the borders between the latter three are fluid. The prototypical populist parties tend to be right-wing on the cultural dimension, but more likely than the non-populists to combine this orientation with leftist views on the economy. The paternalist–nationalist populists as well as the left populists have recently turned towards more emphasis on the national way of life. Populism does not explicitly challenge the constitutional order of liberal democracy, but there is some evidence of a tendency towards increased Euroscepticism for both populists and non-populists.

This chapter demonstrates the populist parties group to leftist, centrist, neoliberal and paternalistic-nationalistic types. Some of the developments in populist politics during the mid-2010s have defied conventional expectations. The Manifesto Project on Political Representation data consists of information about the distribution of political statements in party manifestos across 56 issues. The Chapel Hill data set contains expert evaluations of party positions first on a general left–right dimension, and second on two more specific dimensions, the economic left–right dimension and the so-called GAL/TAN dimension. The chapter shows that the common association between right-wing and populist orientation in the European context is well-founded in the sense that populist parties are more likely to have right-wing values and policies than the non-populist parties. The prototypical populist parties tend to be right-wing on the cultural dimension, but more likely than the non-populists to combine the orientation with leftist views on the economy.