Support for xenophobic populist authoritarian parties and leaders such as Donald Trump, France’s National Front, the Alliance for Germany and Brexit has expanded greatly. This paper analyzes extensive empirical evidence including a survey of the 2016 U.S. Presidential election, seeking to answer two questions: (1) What motivates people in high-income countries to support xenophobic authoritarian movements? And (2) Why is the xenophobic vote much higher now than it was several decades ago? The evidence indicates that support for xenophobic populist authoritarian movements is mainly motivated by a backlash against cultural change. But during the past three decades, strong period effects linked with the coming of artificial intelligence society have been working to increase support for xenophobic parties: a large share of the population has experienced declining real income and job security, along with a massive influx of immigrants and refugees. Cultural backlash explains why given individuals support xenophobic populist authoritarian movements-- but declining existential security explains why support for these movements is greater now than it was thirty years ago.
note: Those planning to attend events in this series should read the
paper that will be posted on the CES website before the seminar.**