Chiara Ferrante, Nicola Pontarollo

The Populist Outbreak and the Role of Institutional Quality in European Regions

  • Abstract

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Keywords: populist vote, institutional quality, European regions

This article contributes to the geography of discontent literature investigating the relationship between institutional quality and the support for populist parties. We implement an Ordinary Least Square regression and a series of robustness tests, for a set of 222 regions, belonging to 28 European countries, for two election periods: the 2011-2014 period, right after the Great Recession and in the meantime of the debt crisis, and in the 2015-2018 period, at the wake of the migrant crisis and the Brexit referendum. Our results suggest that regional institutional quality is negatively associated with populist votes, together with the employment rate, the share of young population, tertiary education and tourism attractiveness. Having a good institutional quality may help defusing populist tendencies, and play a crucial role in shaping the European political geography.

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