Mashail Malik

Department of Political Science

Economic Anxiety & Support for the Far-Right


What factors best explain support for far-right parties in the United States and Europe? Far-right parties and candidates – defined primarily by populist, anti-establishment platforms and appeals to nativism and economic protectionism – have made significant gains in several countries over the past decade. In this project, I look specifically at the case of the United States by focusing on attitudes toward President Donald Trump. In particular, I use survey experiments to evaluate whether there is support for two competing theories often put forward to explain his success: that his supporters are motivated by either cultural threat or economic anxiety. This project aims to contribute to our understanding of how economic anxiety and racial threat are related, so as to better comprehend important global trends such as the emergence of populist parties.