2021 Research and Writing Updates

A quick look back at work that got out the door in 2021. The big accomplishment for the year was finally completing my PhD thesis, the final title of which was “Party Control and its Effects on Factions, Media, and Citizens: The Case of Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party under the Second Abe Administration” – I’m very glad to have finally finished it and hope to update and adapt a few of the chapters into journal papers this year.

Journal Papers

  • How populist attitude scales fail to capture support for populists in power” (with Sebastian Jungkunz and Airo Hino), in PLoS One.
    (What’s interesting about it: several different scales exist for measuring the extent of populist attitudes among citizens in survey research, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. However, testing the populism questions in the CSES surveys conducted in dozens of different nations reveals a potentially major problem – when the populist party is in power, the surveys no longer effectively measure their supporters’ populist attitudes. We argue that this happens because all of these scales assume that the anti-elite attitudes of populist voters are aimed at politicians – but when a populist is actually in power, the “elite” might instead mean the media, experts, business leaders, or some other group. This can cause a paradoxical situation where the supporters of a populist incumbent don’t actually seem to be populist according to surveys and opinion polls.)

  • 日本におけるポピュリズムと陰謀論の信念」(“Populism and Conspiracy Theory Beliefs in Japan“), in 日本世論調査協会報「よろん」(Yoron, Journal of the Japanese Association for Public Opinion Research) 127号, pp. 11-21.
    (What’s interesting about it: this article is an update on progress in an ongoing project with Airo Hino, Sebastian Camatarri and Sebastian Jungkunz, in which we are analysing the conspiracy beliefs of Japanese citizens and the impact of those beliefs on their political behaviours and inclinations. This paper showed how conspiracy beliefs among citizens can be broadly divided into “classic” conspiracies (such as secret organisations controlling the world, alien cover-ups, or religious groups secretly controlling society) and “anti-government” conspiracies (such as governments hiding information, covering up their own criminal activity, or secretly testing new drugs and technologies on citizens), and that respondents’ level of belief in such conspiracies and their degree of populist attitudes are both connected to their party preferences in elections.)

Book Chapters

Editorials / Articles

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