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21 Aug 2018

A new publication by Ron Inglehart: The Silent Revolution in Reverse - Trump and the Xenophobic Authoritarian Populist Parties



A new publication by Ron Inglehart offers an explanation of the rise of xenophobia and support for poulism. Proceed below to download the full text. Theory and evidence underlying this article are presented more fully in Ronald Inglehart, 2018. Cultural Evolution: People’s Motivations are Changing, and Reshaping the World. New York: Cambridge University Press.

The Silent Revolution in Reverse: Trump and the Xenophobic Authoritarian Populist Parties

by Ronald Inglehart, Jon Miller and Logan Woods (University of Michigan)

Paper presented at American Political Science Association meeting (Boston, August 31, 2018)

More than forty years ago, The Silent Revolution (Inglehart, 1977) argued that the unprecedentedly high levels of existential security experienced in developed democracies during the postwar decades was bringing an intergenerational shift from Materialist values that emphasized economic and physical security above all, to Postmaterialist values that gave to priority to individual autonomy and self-expression.  Rising emphasis on Postmaterialist values eventually brought massive social and political changes, from stronger environmental protection policies and anti-war movements, to higher levels of gender equality in government, business and academic life, greater tolerance of gays, handicapped people and foreigners and the spread of democracy.  Postwar prosperity brought these changes with a substantial time lag, since they moved at the pace of intergenerational population replacement;  and though high levels of security were conducive to these changes, short-term economic downturns brought temporary reversions to Materialist values. During the past three decades, a growing share of the publics of high-income countries has experienced declining real income and job security, in context with a large flow of immigrants. This has fueled support for xenophobic populist authoritarian movements such as British exit from the European Union, France’s National Front and Donald Trump’s rise to power. The Silent Revolution dynamic is still at work, but it is now moving in reverse.  For example, in the 2016 U.S. Presidential election, pure Materialists were nearly four times as likely to have voted for Trump as for Clinton—while pure Postmaterialists were fourteen times as likely to have voted for Clinton as for Trump.  This value-based cleavage has become much stronger than the once-powerful cleavages based on income, education, occupation or social class.

APSA_2018_Cultural_Backlash,Period_effects.pdf [Download count:104]


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