Pippa Norris discusses "Cancel Culture" drawing on ECPR-IPSA World of Political Science Survey 2019

Pippa Norris discusses "Cancel Culture" drawing on ECPR-IPSA World of Political Science Survey 2019

Publication date: Wed, 08 Sep 2021

On the occasion of IPSA’s 70th and ECPR’s 50th anniversary, we launched a new profile of Political Science across the world by launching a global survey. The ECPR-IPSA World of Political Science survey aims to understand our profession and the challenges we face. In late-2019, the WPS survey collected the views, characteristics, and experiences of around 2500 political scientists in more than 100 countries. It was conducted by Pippa Norris (the Paul F. McGuire Lecturer in Comparative Politics at Harvard Kennedy School) with the help of ECPR and IPSA. The survey will be repeated every few years to monitor changes in political science.

The dataset has generated a series of articles. Prof. Norris' article, Cancel Culture: Myth or Reality?, was published in Political Studies on 11 August 2021, attracting attention in the news media and Twitter (Altmeter score 298). The article explores whether there is evidence about this phenomenon in our discipline. A ‘Cancel Culture’ Index was created using three items where respondents were asked to indicate on a 5-point ‘better-worse’ scale…”Based on your experience, please indicate whether you think the quality of the following aspects of academic life have changed over the last five years… “Respect for open debate from diverse perspectives.”  “Pressures to be 'politically correct’.” “Academic freedom to teach and research.” The analysis suggests responses to this Index varied according to the predominant societal culture:

As predicted, in post-industrial societies, characterized by predominately liberal social cultures, like the US, Sweden, and the UK, right-wing scholars were most likely to perceive that they faced an increasingly chilly climate. By contrast, in developing societies characterized by more traditional moral cultures, like Nigeria, it was left-wing scholars who reported that a cancel culture had worsened. This contrast is consistent with Noelle-Neumann’s spiral of silence thesis, where mainstream values in any group gradually flourish to become the predominant culture, while, due to social pressures, dissenting minority voices become muted.”

The dataset generated a series of articles, including Cancel Culture: Myth or Reality? by Prof. Norris, which was published in Political Studies. The article looks at whether there is evidence of this phenomenon in our discipline.

Read the article HERE.