Brexit, Positional Populism, and the Declining Appeal of Valence Politics
US : Routledge
389 - 404 p.
Brexit, populism, valence politics, valence issues, positional politics, positional issues, positional populism, post-neoliberalism, political economy, public opinion
A factor that may account for the largely unanticipated victory of Brexit in 2016 is the difference in engagement, mobilization, and, ultimately, turnout between those for whom the question of Brexit was a valence issue (a dry and almost technical question of determining the policies by which uncontroversial shared ends can be achieved) and those for whom it was a positional issue (a question of raw, almost visceral, political preference). The declining appeal of valence politics may reveal a phenomenon that goes beyond Brexit and Britain: a change in the nature and character of contemporary electoral competition that may help to explain the newly resurgent populism characteristic of Western liberal democracies.