The recent rise of populist politics represent a major challenge for liberal democracies. This important book explores the psychological reasons for the rise of populism, featuring contributions from leading international researchers in the fields of psychology and political science.

Unlike liberal democracy based on the Enlightenment values of individual freedom, autonomy and rationality, both right-wing and left-wing populism offer collectivist, autocratic formulations reminiscent of the evolutionary history and tribal instincts of our species. The book offers a comprehensive overview of the psychology of populism, covering such phenomena as identity seeking, anger and fear, collective narcissism, grievance, norms, perceptions of powerlessness and deprivation, authoritarianism, nationalism, radicalism, propaganda and persuasion, ethnocentrism, xenophobia and the effects of globalization.

The book is divided into four parts. Part I deals with the motivational and emotional factors that attract voters to populist causes, and the human needs and values that populist movements satisfy. Part II analyzes the cognitive features of populist appeals, especially their emphasis on simplicity, epistemic certainty and moral absolutism. Part III turns to one of the defining features of populism: its offer of a powerful tribal identity and collectivist ideology that provide meaning and personal significance to its followers. Finally, in Part IV, the propaganda tactics used by populist movements are analysed, including the role of charismatic leadership, authoritarianism, and nationalism and the use of conspiracy narratives and persuasive strategies.

This is fascinating reading on a highly topical issue. The book will be of interest to students, researchers, and applied professionals in all areas of psychology and the social sciences as a textbook or reference book, and to anyone interested in the global rise of populism.

Please follow this link for an insightful interview by one of the editors of the book - Joseph P. Forgas: https://www.routledge.com/blog/article/editor-interview-the-psychology-of-populism

We have also created a short promotional video for the book here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iK1BEF8WyMA.

chapter 1|19 pages

The psychology of populism

The Tribal Challenge to Liberal Democracy

part I|102 pages

What Populists Want

chapter 4|19 pages

Beyond Populism

The Psychology of Status-Seeking and Extreme Political Discontent *

chapter 5|24 pages

The Rise of Populism

The Politics of Justice, Anger, and Grievance

part II|72 pages

The Populist Mind

part III|100 pages

The Tribal Call

chapter 11|22 pages

Self-Uncertainty and Populism

Why We Endorse Populist Ideologies, Identify With Populist Groups, and Support Populist Leaders

chapter 12|21 pages

When Populism Triumphs

From Democracy to Autocracy

chapter 13|18 pages

Populism in Power

The Tribal Challenge

chapter 14|18 pages

The Rise of Populism in the USA

Nationalism, Race, and American Party Politics *

part IV|70 pages

Populist Narratives and Propaganda

chapter 16|22 pages

Social Psychological Contributions to the Study of Populism

Minority Influence and Leadership Processes in the Rise and Fall of Populist Movements