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APSA Annual Meeting

Join us August 30 – September 2, 2018, in Boston for the 114th APSA Annual Meeting & Exhibition to address the latest scholarship in political science while exploring the 2018 theme, “Democracy and Its Discontents.” APSA brings together individuals representing a range of geographic distribution, field of professional interest, methodological orientation, types of institutions where members are employed, race, ethnicity, gender and gender identity, sexuality, disability, and other important forms of diversity.


Panel: Populism in Advanced Capitalist Democracies

Paper: Understanding Brexit: Cultural Resentments Versus Economic Grievances - Professor Pippa Norris and Professor Ronald Inglehart

Thu, August 30, 4:00 to 5:30pm, Hynes Convention Center, 313

The fateful outcome of the Brexit referenda on 23 June 2016 generated a wave of international concern about the disruptive effects of populist forces and stunned disbelief from Berlin to Paris that Britain had voted to withdraw from the European Union after more than four decades of membership. Brexit has been widely regarded as a watershed signaling an end to the era of faith in the benefits of globalization, open labor markets, and European integration. To examine these issues, Part I describes the electoral context and historical background in the run up to Brexit – and its implications for patterns of party competition in the UK. Part II sets out the arguments from economic and cultural theories about the British electorate. Part III describes the evidence from the British Election Study panel surveys which allow us to examine the factors dividing supporters in the Leave and Remain camps in the 2016 Brexit referendum, as well as those predicting support for UKIP from 2015-17. Part IV presents the evidence including the impact of demographic control factors like age and sex, indicators of economic grievances, and the cultural profile of voters in their authoritarian and populist values, as well as their attitudes towards the Europe Union, immigration, and left-right ideology. The conclusion in Part V considers developments since Brexit and the implications for the future of populism in the UK. It concludes that the main standard bearer, UKIP, rose but then failed to achieve a decisive break through as a parliamentary party. Yet populist authoritarianism remains alive and well in post-Brexit Britain.

Panel: Election Dynamics in the Developing World

Paper: Electoral Integrity and Satisfaction with Democracy in Cross-National Comparison -Professor Pippa Norris

Sat, September 1, 4:00 to 5:30pm Arlington Room, Marriott Hotel

Recent contests around the world have raised concern about public confidence in elections, in part because these perceptions are generally associated with less satisfaction with democracy (Birch 2008, Norris 2013). But does the type of regime and the type of problem condition this relationship? In long-established democracies, with experience of successive contests, it could be expected that specific problems arising in any particular election, like Florida in 2000, are unlikely to cause enduring damage to the democratic culture. But under poorly-consolidated hybrid regimes such as Hungary, Turkey and Venezuela, which are neither fully democratic nor fully autocratic, electoral malpractices may lead towards more serious democratic backsliding and even violence. And the type and severity of any malpractices may also matter, for example electoral violence and opposition boycotts may well prove more damaging for public satisfaction with democracy than cases of maladministration in the electoral register.

To what extent are these concerns justified? This paper will investigate these issues using data from the Perceptions of Electoral Integrity Expert Survey (6.0) combined with individual level survey data from Module 4 of the Comparative Study of Electoral Systems in 30 countries and the Gallup World Poll in 140 nations. Using multilevel modelling, the paper will explore the links between overall levels of electoral integrity, measured through both expert and individual perceptions, and satisfaction with democracy. The models will examine whether the strength of this relationship varies (i) by type of regime and (ii) by type of electoral malpractice. Models control for other factors found to influence democratic satisfaction, including government performance and demographic characteristics to assess under what conditions electoral integrity matters for political support.