Skip to main content

The Declining Middle: Occupational Change, Social Status, and the Populist Right

6Citations
Citations of this article
61Readers
Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
Get full text

Abstract

This article investigates the political consequences of occupational change in times of rapid technological advancement and sheds light on the economic and cultural roots of right-wing populism. A growing body of research shows that the disadvantages of a transforming employment structure are strongly concentrated among semiskilled routine workers in the lower middle class. I argue that individual employment trajectories and relative shifts in the social hierarchy are key to better understand recent political disruptions. A perception of relative economic decline among politically powerful groups—not their impoverishment—drives support for conservative and, especially, right-wing populist parties. Individual-level panel data from three postindustrial democracies and original survey data demonstrate this relationship. A possible interpretation of the findings is that traditional welfare policy might be an ineffective remedy against the ascent of right-wing populism.

Cite

CITATION STYLE

APA

Kurer, T. (2020). The Declining Middle: Occupational Change, Social Status, and the Populist Right. Comparative Political Studies, 53(10–11), 1798–1835. https://doi.org/10.1177/0010414020912283

Register to see more suggestions

Mendeley helps you to discover research relevant for your work.

Already have an account?

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free