A House Divided: Cultural Backlash and Economic Insecurity in Poland and Hungary
No 64xku, Thesis Commons from Center for Open Science
The resurgence of populist sentiment across Europe and many parts of the world is concerning and deserves attention because of the powerful influence that populism has in shaping the global economy and international relations. In particular, this thesis dissects the drivers of right-wing populism through the theories used by Professor Inglehart (Michigan) and Professor Norris (Harvard) in a working paper that is now being turned into a book ("Cultural Backlash: Trump, Brexit, and Authoritarian-Populism"). They hold that two factors -- culture and economy -- are responsible in helping to elect right-wing populists to office (particularly in Europe). In studying the cultural backlash thesis in Poland and Hungary, I look at culture through the proxy of religion and education. In studying the economic insecurity thesis in Poland and Hungary, I examine the unemployment rate and GDP per capita. Based on the multivariate regression models that I have produced in my research, I find that some variables that were used to measure culture -- namely, church attendance -- partially supports the cultural backlash thesis while no economic factors that were studied support the economic insecurity thesis.
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