Recent conference papers

The following represent current work in progress. Papers are removed from the list when published as chapters or journal articles.


Roswell, Grassy Knolls, and Voter Fraud: Explaining erroneous perceptions of electoral malpractices

Pippa Norris, Holly Ann Garnett, and Max Grömping

Abstract: Why do many Americans believe that millions of fraudulent votes were cast when independent evidence refutes this claim? This study seeks to explain the reasons behind errors in public evaluations about electoral malpractices. Part I considers long-standing debates about the rational public and reviews evidence from several polls demonstrating the extent of perceptual flaws in American beliefs about electoral fraud. Part II outlines the theoretical framework to explain this phenomenon. We propose that erroneous beliefs could potentially arise from citizen’s cognitive skills, partisan and media cues, and psychological predispositions. Part III describes the research design. Errors in perceptions of fair vote counts are estimated as the difference between public assessments of malpractices (measured at individual-level within states in the 2016 American National Election Study)  and independent evaluations from experts (derived by the 2016 U.S. Perceptions of Electoral Integrity study in U.S. states).  Part IV presents the results of the analysis.  The conclusion in Part V summarizes the key findings and considers their implications.

Paper for presentation at the Electoral Integrity Project Workshop “Protecting electoral security & voting rights: The 2016 U.S. elections in comparative perspective” 30th August 2017, Westin St Francis Hotel, San Francisco.

Date uploaded: 18 Aug 2017

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Cultural backlash: Values and voting for populist authoritarian parties in Europe

Pippa Norris and Ronald Inglehart

Abstract: Rising voting support for parties blending populist and authoritarian appeals has disrupted mainstream party competition in many European societies – and had major consequences worldwide. What explains this phenomenon? We theorize that an important part of any explanation lies in perceived cultural threats,  where rapid and profound value change in post-industrial societies during recent decades have affected core feelings of social identity, wrapped around values of family, faith and nation. These developments have generated a ‘cultural backlash’ activating authoritarian values and voting support for populist parties with authoritarian policy positions, especially among  older and non-college educated citizens.

To consider these issues, Part I develops the conceptual and theoretical framework. Part II estimates the ideological position of all European political parties on Authoritarian and Populist indexes, from expert CHES data. We also operationalize and measures Authoritarian and Populist values in the mass electorate, from the pooled European Social Survey 2002-2014. Part III uses multilevel models to examine the links between values and votes. The conclusion summarizes the key findings and considers their implications.

Keywords: populist parties and leaders, authoritarianism, radical right, elections, democracy, cultural value change, economic insecurity

Paper presented at the panel on “The Roots of the New Populism” Friday, September 1, 4:00 to 5:30pm, Hilton Union Square, Nob Hill 10, the American Political Science Association annual meeting, San Francisco.

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Uploaded: 2 Sept 2017