PhD defence K. (Kjell) Noordzij

Revolt of the Deplored: Perceived cultural distance and less-educated citizens’ political discontent
Prof.dr. J. van der Waal
Prof.dr. W. de Koster
Thursday 15 Jun 2023, 10:30 - 12:00
PhD defence
Senate Hall
Erasmus Building
Campus Woudestein
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K. Noordzij will defend his PhD dissertation on Thursday 15 June 2023, entitled: ’Revolt of the Deplored: Perceived cultural distance and less-educated citizens’ political discontent‘.


In liberal democracies, many citizens are discontented with politicians. Less-educated citizens in particular have little trust in politics, tend not to participate in elections, or give their support to populist parties. How can this be understood? This dissertation adds a novel relational approach to the study of less-educated citizens’ political discontent. The argument is made that many less-educated citizens perceive politicians to be distant to their life-world and feel looked down on by them. The role of such a perceived cultural distance in less-educated citizens’ political discontent and its wider implications are tested empirically using a multi-methods approach, which includes in-depth group interviews, a tailor-made survey, and video-vignette survey experiments. Perceived cultural distance to politicians experienced by less-educated citizens is found to inspire a wide range of political discontents over and above conventional explanations, and has far-reaching consequences for the functioning of democracy.

More information

The public defence will begin exactly at 10.30 hrs. The doors will be closed once the public defence starts, latecomers may be able to watch on the screen outside. There is no possibility of entrance during the first part of the ceremony. Due to the solemn nature of the ceremony, we recommend that you do not take children under the age of 6 to the first part of the ceremony.

A live stream link has been provided to the candidate.

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