Mapping Populism and Nationalism in Leader Rhetoric Across North America and Europe
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Description: Replication files for Jenne, Erin K., Kirk A. Hawkins, and Bruno Castanho Silva. 2021. "Mapping Populism and Nationalism in Leader Rhetoric Across North America and Europe", Studies in Comparative International Development. We conceptualize populism and nationalism as vertical and horizontal discursive frames of sovereignty, and we investigate the prevalence of these frames in the speeches of chief executives (presidents and prime ministers) in Europe and North America to assess whether these discourses are on the rise at the highest levels of government. To do so, we compile an original database of leader speeches, measuring both discourses using a technique called holistic grading. We find that neither populism nor nationalism is on the rise across Europe and North America over the past twenty years; instead, the rise is concentrated in sub-regions and specific countries. We also find that populism and nationalism are highly but imperfectly correlated in leaders’ speeches in the corpus as a whole, but that populism is far less common in the speeches of western leaders. In the penultimate section, we use a selection of speech vignettes to demonstrate that state leaders employ populism to counter political opponents, nationalism to counter hostile nations, and a combination to mobilize against conjoined threats from above and beyond the “people-nation.”