Pandemic Threat and Authoritarian Attitudes in Europe. An Empirical Analysis of the Exposure to Covid-19

Filsinger, Maximilian; Freitag, Markus (2022). Pandemic Threat and Authoritarian Attitudes in Europe. An Empirical Analysis of the Exposure to Covid-19. European Union politics, 23(3), pp. 417-436. Sage Publications 10.1177/14651165221082517

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While analysis of the impact of threatening events has moved from bit player to center stage in political science in recent decades, the phenomenon of pandemic threat is widely neglected in terms of a systematic research agenda. Tying together insights from the behavioral immune system hypothesis and standard political science models of emotional processing, we evaluate whether exposure to the COVID-19 pandemic threat is related to authoritarian attitudes and which emotions do the work. Using 12 samples with over 12,000 respondents from six European countries at two time points (2020 and 2021), we argue that pandemic threats can generate disgust, anger, and fear. Our analyses indicate that exposure to the COVID-19 pandemic threat particularly activates fear, which in turn is linked to authoritarian attitudes.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

03 Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences > Social Sciences > Institute of Political Science

UniBE Contributor:

Filsinger, Maximilian and Freitag, Markus

Subjects:

300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 320 Political science

ISSN:

1465-1165

Publisher:

Sage Publications

Language:

English

Submitter:

Arno Raoul Rothenbühler

Date Deposited:

07 Apr 2022 07:41

Last Modified:

24 Jul 2022 02:00

Publisher DOI:

10.1177/14651165221082517

BORIS DOI:

10.48350/166910

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/166910

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