Populism Literature on Europe: A Brief Overview and Meta-Analysis


Populism is undoubtedly one of the most relevant concepts to the study of contemporary party politics. A massive amount of literature has been produced on this topic, especially with regard to the European continent. However, the literature still lacks a comprehensive meta-analysis of this vast body of research. In this work, we summarize the results of one hundred and ninety-four articles present on the two most authoritative bibliographic databases, Web of Science and Scopus, in the last three decades. The meta-analysis enquires into definitions of populism employed across the decades and the main characteristics of the research design. The main results show that, across time, the definition of the concept has become increasingly clear, with the interpretation holding populism to be a thin-centred ideology clearly prevailing. The focus on the empirically oriented partially confirms our expectations, although relevant differences are identified and further discussed. We conclude that more research is needed on this topic, in particular with regard to the diversity of the geographical contexts.


DOI Code: 10.1285/i20398573v7n2p119

Keywords: populism, theory, method, meta-analysis, literature review


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