RC42 Social Psychology (host committee)
Populism is both a political and academic concept which varies widely in its use. As found within the social sciences, it is generally regarded as a mobilized support for the political, cultural and economic preferences of the mainstream populous as opposed to those of the elite, intellectuals, media, governments, public institutions, and scientific and civic organizations. There are populists of the left, center and the right on the political spectrum, but currently attention has focused on right-wing populism as an increasingly transformative force. The social psychological and sociological accounts of populism are much related to the research traditions of studies of authoritarianism, dogmatism, Fascism and closed-mindedness, and the social conditions which facilitate their emergence. How perceptive/effective is this legacy for understanding today’s populist resurgence? For this session, we specifically wish to focus on the recent upsurge of right-wing populism, particularly since it is linked with many contentious attitudes, such as anti-immigration, anti-elites, Islamophobia, homophobia, and national isolationism, among others. The session is open to micro and macro studies which help the understanding of populism using either qualitative and/or quantitative data.