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About this Research Topic

Manuscript Submission Deadline 15 January 2023
Manuscript Extension Submission Deadline 15 February 2023

In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, global politics face a wide range of urgent challenges for citizens and their representatives. The global health crisis triggered a series of social, political, and economic consequences. In many countries as diverse as Germany, Belarus, and the Philippines, the ...

In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, global politics face a wide range of urgent challenges for citizens and their representatives. The global health crisis triggered a series of social, political, and economic consequences. In many countries as diverse as Germany, Belarus, and the Philippines, the pandemic brought political unrest with citizens feeling angry about the economic hardships they face or the risk of facing them. At the same time, while the economic hardships of the past caused a legitimacy crisis and the rise of populism – at least in Europe - the recent health crisis might have hurt populism. Right and left wing populist parties fueled by economic austerity measures during the Great Recession or by anti-vaccine movements during the pandemic are now losing grounds, while moderate mainstream parties seem to regain popularity.

Despite the apparent transformations, symbolic and identity issues remain as salient as before the pandemic and can derive in new waves of populism or authoritarianism. Societal conflicts around cultural issues reinforcing existing identities and creating new ones that are as intense as that of partisanship. Affective polarisation that can result from this process makes it difficult for both parties and citizens to find political compromises. These developments point towards a growing discontent towards the political elites, and the pandemic can both reinforce or debilitate the previously existing divides.

Against this background, this Research Topic aims to contribute to our understanding of the effects of the pandemic on political divides. More generally, contributions to this Topic study the drivers of change in public opinion and voting behaviour during the pandemic. The Research Topic is open to a variety of topics and methodological approaches within the general field of comparative research on public opinion and electoral behaviour.

Topics of particular interest include, but are not limited to:

- Development of populist attitudes

- Performance of populist leaders during the pandemic

- Culture Wars and affective polarization

- Attitudes towards pandemic policies

- Conspiracy theories and electoral behaviour

- Individual attitudes towards democracy and democratic institutions

- Development of attitudes towards political institutions

- Inequality during the pandemic

We welcome original manuscripts using a variety of methodological approaches:

- Survey or Lab experiments

- Survey Data

- Big Data analysis

- Theoretical manuscripts

- Longitudinal and comparative studies

Keywords: Public Opinion, Polarization, Populism, Pandemic, Voting behaviour


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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