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Do Threats Galvanize Authoritarians or Mobilize Non-Authoritarians? Experimental Tests from 19 European Societies

journal contribution
posted on 2020-07-01, 10:12 authored by Christopher Claassen, Lauren McLaren
Authoritarian predispositions and contextual threats are both thought to result in intolerance and prejudice towards immigrants and other minorities. Yet there is considerable dispute as to how authoritarianism and threat interact to produce an “authoritarian dynamic.” Some scholars argue that threats increase intolerance by “galvanizing” authoritarians. Others claim that authoritarians are always intolerant toward outgroups, with threat in-stead “mobilizing” non-authoritarians. Using experimental manipulations of immigrant cultural threat embedded in nationally-representative samples from 19 European societies, this study offers a test of these competing hypotheses. While we find some evidence for the “galvanizing” hypothesis, we find no evidence for the “mobilizing” hypothesis. The effects vary considerably across national samples how-ever, with immigrants from Muslim societies being particularly likely to activate authoritarian predispositions. These findings show how the migration of culturally distinctive groups has the potential to activate authoritarian dispositions, thereby pushing the issue of immigration to the center of political debates

History

Citation

Political Psychology, 2020, https://doi.org/10.1111/pops.12720

Author affiliation

School of History, Politics and International Relations

Version

  • AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Published in

Political Psychology

Publisher

Wiley

issn

0162-895X

Acceptance date

2020-06-23

Copyright date

2020

Available date

2022-12-09

Language

en

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