This year’s APSA meeting and exhibition, convened in Washington DC, had the theme “Populism and Privilege”. With more than 1000 panels and more than 6000 participants, the conference offered a huge array of interesting contributions. Particularly scholars doing research in the area of populism could elect from an overwhelming number of panels on this topic, covering the measurement of populism, its roots, and its consequences.
As a contribution specifically to the aspect of the roots of populist parties, I presented a paper written together with Georg Wenzelburger on the “Sources of Radical Right Party Support Among Economically Leftist Citizens”. It looks at why radical right parties – which are often right-wing populists – receive considerable support from citizens with clear pro-redistribution preferences.
With all this research on populism, it was good to also have some change and be able to look into other interesting fields. For instance, the conference featured a number of panels on digital media, change in the public sphere, and the issue of fake news in our time. They contained some exciting contributions with cutting-edge research e.g. on how to counter the effects of fake news.