Our article with Bruno Castanho Silva and Fede Vegetti in the Swiss Political Science Review special issue on populism is titled: The Elite Is Up to Something: Exploring the Relation Between Populism and Belief in Conspiracy Theories.
Abstract: We explore the relationship between populist attitudes and conspiratorial beliefs on the individual level with two studies using American samples. First, we test whether and what kinds of conspiratorial beliefs predict populist attitudes. Our results show that belief in conspiracies with greedy, but not necessarily purely evil, elites are associated with populism. Second, we test whether having a conspiratorial mentality is associated with all separate sub-dimensions of populist attitudes – people-centrism, anti-elitism, and a good-versus-evil view of politics. Results show a relation only with the first two, confirming the common tendency of both discourses to see the masses as victims on elites’ hands. These findings contribute to research on the correlates of populism at the individual level, which is essential to understanding why this phenomenon is so strong in contemporary democracies.
In addition to the Comparative Populism project, another ITI project I am involved with also got funded in the most recent round. With the leadership of Tijana Krstić and Jessie Labov, I am happy to announce that the Text Analysis Across Disciplines project starts on Monday.
Now, any advice for me where I can learn the ins and outs of the trade? Please send it on Twitter or Facebook (email also works). (Not that I don’t run a methods school, but on those exact days I tend to be pretty busy. So I need other options.)
More about the project:
Text analysis can mean different things to different audiences: from close reading of literary texts, to critical reflections on historical sources, to the computational analysis of big data using text mining techniques. The project seek to forge a continuum among these diverse disciplinary approaches to text analysis: from the analog to the digital, from the historical to the contemporary, from pure research to public outreach. This project has grown out of the work of the Digital Humanities Initiative (DHI), an 18-month exploratory project funded by the Humanities Initiative. After surveying the CEU community and spending the 2016-2017 year consulting with faculty, staff, and students in virtually every department and program on campus, the project team has identified text analysis as the one area of digital research which is much in demand, but critically absent from CEU’s curricula and research profile. Therefore, the project will offer courses, master classes, project incubation, and several public events to demonstrate the crucial role of text analysis in ‘small,’ ‘medium’ and ‘big data’ research. In order to introduce the techniques and methodologies specific to text analysis at CEU, the team will draw on working partnerships that the DHI has established with several Hungarian institutions (ELTE, the Petofi Literary Museum, and the Institute for Literary Studies and the Institute for Historical Research at the Academy of Sciences), as well as the European-wide DARIAH network. The primary goals for the TANAD project is to successfully establish 2 university-wide courses and several grant-worthy projects which bridge the work of the Just Data initiative with ongoing text-based research in departments and programs across the university.
It is my every intention to write a blog from now on. It will not be a daily activity but hopefully once (or a few times a week) you will find content here. (Anything you found before this post was a few back dated things I figured should be on here.)
I will start by a few posts to serve as a survival guide to the incoming MA students. I have received the honor and pleasure to become their Scopes and Methods instructor. I am sure they will hate it every bit as much as they always do, no matter who is teaching. But I also hope to serve them right.
We are grateful for CEU’s Intellectual Themes Initiative for funding our project. Now we have a lot of work to do over the next two years. Announcement penned by Erin Jenne:
We are excited to announce our two-year interdisciplinary CEU grant project, Comparative Populism, which will launch September 2017 and is conducted by Levente Littvay, Bruno Castanho E Silva, Rosario Aguilar Pariente, Constantin Iordachi, Nick Sitter, Zsolt Enyedi, Elissa Helms, Balazs Vedres, Judit Sandor, Matt Singer, Norbert Sabic, Federico Vegetti, several CEU students (hopefully) and with external support from multiple scholars including Team Populism.
This project brings together CEU and international scholars working on topics related to populism across different disciplinary traditions. The aim is to build up a comparative database on countries across Europe on the varieties of populist politics and policies across the region from the end of the Cold War to present and to explore the connections between populism on the one hand and gender, law, foreign policy, and party politics on the other. By joining the different methodological skills and perspectives across the different academic units, the project team can arrive at a multi-faceted understanding of why populism manifests more strongly in some countries than others in the same region, why it takes on social conservative dimension in some places and more nationalist/nativist dimension in others, and how all of this connects to gender, the law, foreign policy, public administration and party systems.
Find out more HERE!
And leaving with distinction… Also see Constantin Manuel Bosancianu (Manu’s) picture above the blog section of the front page.