The authoritarian left withdraws from politics: Ideological asymmetry in the relationship between authoritarianism and political engagement

Christopher M Federico, Emily L. Fisher, Grace Deason

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

In this article, we argue that authoritarianism will be associated with reduced political interest and participation to a greater extent among those who identify with the left rather than the right because left-leaning politics-which challenges the status quo-threatens more instability and flux. Using data from the United States, we provide evidence for this first hypothesis. Using multinational European data, we also provide support for a second hypothesis that this interaction would be more evident in "Westernized" contexts, where the traditional left-right difference is clearly defined, than in Eastern European countries, where its meaning is less distinct; and we conceptually replicate the authoritarianism results using a measure of support for "conservation" values favoring security, conformity, and tradition. Together, these results suggest that the lower visibility of left-wing authoritarianism relative to its counterpart on the right may be due in part to greater withdrawal from politics among left-leaning authoritarians.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1010-1023
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Politics
Volume79
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2017

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