Why do European citizens support populism?

A comparative study of demand-side and supply-side explanations

This thesis presents an in-depth exploration of the rise of populist parties in European democracies over the past two decades. Drawing from the ideational approach to populism, this study investigates the diverse factors driving citizen support for these political movements from a comparative perspective. The research explores both demand-side and supply-side factors, offering crucial insights into the cross-country variations in populist parties’ electoral performances. This integrated approach sheds light on the multifaceted dynamics underlying populist support in European democracies, enriching the scholarly understanding of populism’s complexities but also equipping policymakers with valuable knowledge to understand where support for these political actors originates from.

Francesco Marolla is a scholar in the field of political sociology, specializing in the topic of support for populism in the European context. He holds a PhD in Sociology and Social Research, earned through a joint program between the University of Trento and Tilburg University. Previously, he completed a Master’s degree in Sociology and Social Research at the University of Trento, following a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology at the University of Rome ‘La Sapienza’. Currently, he works as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Milan within the project POSTGEN - Generational gap and post-ideological politics in Italy (https://www.postgen.org/it/home-en/).

(Digital version updated on 2023-10-13 with a correction on the title page)

Cover design by Francesco Marolla and Violet Zagt


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 (CC BY 4.0) license, which means that you are free to copy and distribute this work in any medium or format, granted that you give appropriate credit to the author(s). For more information, see: https://www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode.

ISBN: 978-94-037-0395-4
DOI: 10.26116/379g-x241

Design and Typesetting by Thomas F. K. Jorna
Coordination and Cover Design by Violet S. Zagt
Publishers of Trial & Error

Published by Open Press Tilburg University, Tilburg, the Netherlands https://www.openpresstiu.org info@openpresstiu.org

© 2023 Francesco Marolla.


  • isbn
  • publisher
    Open Press Tilburg University
  • publisher place
    Tilburg, The Netherlands
  • rights
    Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)
  • rights holder
    Francesco Marolla
  • doi