CONTACT: Matthew C. MacWilliams
MacWilliams Sanders Communication, President
University of Massachusetts Amherst, PhD;
RELEASE DATE: 26 October 2016

Authoritarianism and the Rise of Populist National Parties in Europe: Preliminary Findings from Surveys of Four European Nations

Data from four recently completed surveys in Great Britain, France, Sweden, and Germany demonstrate an attitudinal link between the supporters of European populist national parties and Alt-Right Trumpism in the United States. The disposition that links the political behavior of these supporters on both sides of the Atlantic is authoritarianism.

At its core, authoritarianism is an intolerant aversion to diversity that seeks to maintain social order and norms. Authoritarians obey authority, seek conformity, and may act aggressively to people or groups who are identified as outsiders or targeted as “the other.”

Since 1992, four simple child-rearing questions have been used by researchers in the United States and elsewhere to estimate individuals’ predisposition to...