The study of a potential value-conservative backlash as the root of authoritarian populism in Norway, does not receive much empirical support. The support for authoritarian populism in Norway is basically rooted in anti-immigrant attitudes, and it is the Christian Democratic Party that stand for value-conservatism, to a much lesser extent, the populist Progress Party. The study of the alleged backlash in Poland, Hungary, Italy and Norway (Baro and Jenssen) suggests that the model fits Italy, but not the three other countries. In Poland, social conservatism was never threatened, in Hungary the support for Fidez is mainly rooted in aggressive nationalism, and Norway passed the ?tipping point? in the struggle between conservative and liberal values in the late 1970s.
The projects main objectives are (a) to ensure Norway's future participation in the EVS-project and access to the invaluable EVS/WVS data-set for Norwegian and international researchers, (b) to initiate excellent comparative research of great relevance to Norway and Europe in seven specific areas, and (c) to address some of the "big issues" in value change theory through advanced multilevel modeling. The projects secondary objective is to introduce a new generation of researchers to this field by - among other things - the training of two Ph.D. candidates. The seven areas are: (1) the level and sources of social capital under three different welfare state regimes, (2) the public's response to increased economic and social inequities, (3) the dynamics of trust in political institutions, (4) the new wave of migration and social, economic and cultural conflicts, (5) the hidden structural roots of European populism, (6) support for civil liberties and perceptions of external and internal threats in the new cold war, and (7) whether the new personalized religion are relational or individualized. A set of propositions for empirical testing has been developed for each of these areas. Several propositions are comparative and call for the use of multilevel models to correctly estimate effects across countries and time.
Some of Norway's best researchers in this field have joined the research team, and the Department of Sociology and Political Science at NTNU has a strong record for research based on large comparative data-sets.
The EVS/WVS data-set offers unique opportunities to test these propositions and many, many more. The research team will actively invite other researchers to make use of the data-set in their fields of research. In addition to the fields of research discussed in the application, the data-set covers family-values, work related values, support for norms and laws, position on ethical problems (abortion, euthanasia, etc.) and psycho-social well being.