Research note: Office participation and the dissipating populism-distrust connection

Matthijs Rooduijn, Jaap van Slageren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Recent studies have shown that the correlation between political distrust and support for populist and radical parties dissipates when these parties are in office or have office experience. In this research note we argue and demonstrate that it is not so much office experience that matters, but actually being in office. Moreover, we show that the populism-distrust connection (1) exists before populists enter a government coalition; (2) dissipates during their time in office; and (3) can resurface after they have left office again. Finally, we show that the ‘dissipation effect’ exists among all types of populist parties (also those that are not radical left or right), but not among other non-mainstream parties like, for instance, green or regionalist parties. These are important findings because they suggest that this effect is only temporary, and, at least partly, due to parties' populist messages.
Original languageEnglish
Article number102488
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalElectoral Studies
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2022


  • Populism
  • Political (dis)trust
  • Voting behavior


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