** Please note: Those planning to attend events in this series should read the paper that will be posted on the CES website before the seminar.**
Rising support for populist parties has disrupted the politics of many Western societies. What explains this phenomenon? Two theories are examined here. Perhaps the most widely-held view of mass support for populism -- the economic insecurity perspective--emphasizes the consequences of profound changes transforming the workforce and society in post-industrial economies. Alternatively, the cultural backlash thesis suggests that support can be explained as a retro reaction by once-predominant sectors of the population to progressive value change.