Populist radical right-wing parties and the assault on political correctness: The impact of Vox in Spain

New article by Carol Galais and Juan Pérez-Rajó in International Political Science Review.

The significant rise in the number of populist radical right (PRR) parties has not been accompanied by a parallel interest in the consequences that these parties may have on public opinion. The limited range of attitudes that the literature has considered so far can be broadened to include political correctness (PC), given the increasing attacks on this concept made by PRR parties. To address the effects of such attacks, we examine the Spanish case, where the presence of a new PRR party makes anti-PC messages a recent, quite exogenous stimulus. Using panel data to address potential non-recursive relationships and time-variant effects, we find that individuals are indeed more prone to lowering their levels of PC after finding Vox an attractive electoral option. Our results inform the debates on the effects that ‘cultural wars’, anti-woke and anti-PC rhetorics may have on public opinion, which could lead ultimately to harmful consequences for minority groups and social cohesion.