Economic Crisis and Party System Change: The Populist Factor in Greece, Portugal and Spain

Friday, July 14, 2017
JWS - Room J10 (J355) (University of Glasgow)
Luis Ramiro , Politics and International Relations, University of Leicester
Marco Lisi , IPRI-New University of Lisbon
Myrto Tsakatika , Politics, University of Glasgow
Greece, Portugal and Spain are among the countries worst hit by the 2008 Great Recession. They have also experienced important electoral and political turmoil since then. However, the degrees to which their party systems have been transformed after 2008 vary. One of the dimensions in which they differ is the presence and varieties of populism in parties’ political proposals which have significantly differed in the countries under scrutiny. This article has three main goals. First, we assess the varying presence of populist features through a content analysis of all significant – mainstream and challenging - parties’ documents in these three countries since the 2008 period, following the hypothesis that – due to the crisis and party competition factors – forms of ‘inclusionary’ populism have emerged. Second, we suggest an explanation for intra-country, cross-country and over-time variation in populist trajectories. Finally, we discuss some implications regarding the impact of populism on party system change.