Limits of democracy, populism, and the evil from social networks
268 uses, 1594 views
268 uses, 1594 views
I'm not great at overall structure and aggregate levels, so I won't advice you on that. Content wise I think it would make sense to make some groupings of variables around certain themes including the populist, conservative or right wing explanations for the rise of populism. Economics is such a theme that is included in the model already, as is the role of the media. You can find many almost ready made system explanations from commentators. Here are a few.
One clear explanation for populism in the USA and perhaps to a lesser extent Europe is claimed to be the overextension of progressive ideals or political correctness, whereby mainstream viewpoints that were acceptable for a majority of the population have been replaced with increasingly extreme views (e.g. from equal rights for women to modern feminism - equal rights for blacks to white privilege and guilt - gay rights vs a 100something gender classes on college entry forms). These more extreme viewpoints in turn create a popular backlash. As an example of this: something like 1 in 8 women in the USA identify as a feminist and Hillary Clinton ran her campaign as a feminist.
In European countries, perceptions of the treat islam poses to society are a more important driver for populist movements. These perceptions in turn are based in reality (including but not limited to terrorism) and can be influenced positively and negatively by (social) media. Perception is a great word, use it a lot because it allows neutrality; you can’t help other peoples’ perceptions.
Centering on media - as it is a central theme in the model. I don’t think ‘fake news’ or hoaxes on social media have any structural impact on political opinions as they feed on preexisting opinions. What did is the rise of alternative media in countries such as the USA and the Netherlands. They have allowed political opinions and facts not accepted by established media to come out in the open and have thereby supported the rise of populism. It is recognized that increasingly ‘factions’ in society have their own news channels instead of shared ones. Both sides of the divide are biased.
Generally the whole populist movement results from a disconnect between establishment opinions and policies and public opinion (again regardless of one’s political opinions this is clearly the case) and this should be central in the model. I don’t know how you would exactly model the almost perfect divide between supporters of the current political status quo and the supporters (not voters) for populist policies which would be something like 50/50 now. But there are probably a lot of interesting interconnections there.
I think it would actually be an interesting model when you include arguments from both sides.