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Relationships between right-wing authoritarianism, terrorism threat, and attitudes towards restrictions of civil rights: a comparison among four European countries

(2011) BRITISH JOURNAL OF PSYCHOLOGY. 102(2). p.245-259
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Abstract
The present study tested the role of right-wing authoritarianism (RWA), terrorist threat, and sociopolitical 'climate' as predictors of support for governmental anti-terrorism policies and actions. Two dimensions of analysis were defined: the presence versus absence of al-Qaeda attacks, and adherence to surveillance versus anti-surveillance mainstream politics. In order to study the influence of these two contextual dimensions on the expression of attitudes, we selected four European countries that fall into these two dimensions - Poland, Belgium, Spain, and the UK. Results from our study provide support for the contention that attitudes towards restrictions of civil rights are related to RWA independently of the cultural context. Moreover, in the UK sample, we found that the threat of terrorism increases acceptance of limitations of civil liberties, but only among people who hold authoritarian beliefs. However, in Spain, the other country that experienced terrorist attacks, this moderation effect was not found which is interpreted in terms of differences in the sociopolitical climate in both countries. As predicted, we did not find such moderation effect in countries in which threat is relatively low (Poland and Belgium). The results are discussed with reference to the conceptual framework based on the importance of fear experiences, security-focused policies, as well as the specific cultural context in the study of reaction to terrorist threat.
Keywords
IDEOLOGY, EXPOSURE, PERSONALITY, SEPTEMBER 11, SOCIAL-DOMINANCE ORIENTATION, ATTACKS, STRESS, PREJUDICE, SECURITY, BASES

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Chicago
Kossowska, Malgorzata, Mariusz Trejtowicz, Soledad de Lemus, Marcin Bukowski, Alain Van Hiel, and Robin Goodwin. 2011. “Relationships Between Right-wing Authoritarianism, Terrorism Threat, and Attitudes Towards Restrictions of Civil Rights: a Comparison Among Four European Countries.” British Journal of Psychology 102 (2): 245–259.
APA
Kossowska, Malgorzata, Trejtowicz, M., de Lemus, S., Bukowski, M., Van Hiel, A., & Goodwin, R. (2011). Relationships between right-wing authoritarianism, terrorism threat, and attitudes towards restrictions of civil rights: a comparison among four European countries. BRITISH JOURNAL OF PSYCHOLOGY, 102(2), 245–259.
Vancouver
1.
Kossowska M, Trejtowicz M, de Lemus S, Bukowski M, Van Hiel A, Goodwin R. Relationships between right-wing authoritarianism, terrorism threat, and attitudes towards restrictions of civil rights: a comparison among four European countries. BRITISH JOURNAL OF PSYCHOLOGY. 2011;102(2):245–59.
MLA
Kossowska, Malgorzata, Mariusz Trejtowicz, Soledad de Lemus, et al. “Relationships Between Right-wing Authoritarianism, Terrorism Threat, and Attitudes Towards Restrictions of Civil Rights: a Comparison Among Four European Countries.” BRITISH JOURNAL OF PSYCHOLOGY 102.2 (2011): 245–259. Print.
@article{1255492,
  abstract     = {The present study tested the role of right-wing authoritarianism (RWA), terrorist threat, and sociopolitical 'climate' as predictors of support for governmental anti-terrorism policies and actions. Two dimensions of analysis were defined: the presence versus absence of al-Qaeda attacks, and adherence to surveillance versus anti-surveillance mainstream politics. In order to study the influence of these two contextual dimensions on the expression of attitudes, we selected four European countries that fall into these two dimensions - Poland, Belgium, Spain, and the UK. Results from our study provide support for the contention that attitudes towards restrictions of civil rights are related to RWA independently of the cultural context. Moreover, in the UK sample, we found that the threat of terrorism increases acceptance of limitations of civil liberties, but only among people who hold authoritarian beliefs. However, in Spain, the other country that experienced terrorist attacks, this moderation effect was not found which is interpreted in terms of differences in the sociopolitical climate in both countries. As predicted, we did not find such moderation effect in countries in which threat is relatively low (Poland and Belgium). The results are discussed with reference to the conceptual framework based on the importance of fear experiences, security-focused policies, as well as the specific cultural context in the study of reaction to terrorist threat.},
  author       = {Kossowska, Malgorzata and Trejtowicz, Mariusz and de Lemus, Soledad and Bukowski, Marcin and Van Hiel, Alain and Goodwin, Robin},
  issn         = {0007-1269},
  journal      = {BRITISH JOURNAL OF PSYCHOLOGY},
  keywords     = {IDEOLOGY,EXPOSURE,PERSONALITY,SEPTEMBER 11,SOCIAL-DOMINANCE ORIENTATION,ATTACKS,STRESS,PREJUDICE,SECURITY,BASES},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {245--259},
  title        = {Relationships between right-wing authoritarianism, terrorism threat, and attitudes towards restrictions of civil rights: a comparison among four European countries},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1348/000712610X517262},
  volume       = {102},
  year         = {2011},
}

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