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Experimental Analysis of Partisan and Ideological Hostility in Britain (Political Behaviour Colloquium)

Dates:
  • Tue 11 Feb 2020 17.15 - 18.30
  Add to Calendar 2020-02-11 17:15 2020-02-11 18:30 Europe/Paris Experimental Analysis of Partisan and Ideological Hostility in Britain (Political Behaviour Colloquium)

A large body of literature shows that the effect of party cues transcends political judgments. However, little is known about the precise link of party cues to intolerance for persons with opposing political views in a non-US context. This paper explores the extent and limits of political prejudice. In particular, it examines whether knowing someone’s party alignment or stance on salient political issues decreases the weight one places on how compatible their political preferences are when making social judgments about them. The UK provides a valuable opportunity to research the roots of political intolerance, given its depolarisation on salient issues in recent decades, and paradoxically, considerable hostility between supporters of different parties. Especially, since the Labour and Conservative Parties are traditionally seen as representing opposing ideological poles in the eyes of the public. This picture is further coloured with the heightened tension around the issue of Brexit, which is now considered as powerful (if not more powerful) a source of social identity as partisanship. This provides an opportunity to compare the effect of partisan conflict and opinion-based group identity conflict on personal and ideological hostility towards the political other. This paper proposes an experimental design to induce a trade-off between judgement based on perceived ideological closeness and attitudes towards the rank-and-file of political groups, and presents results from a modest preliminary survey that finds that personal hostility is largely motivated by ideological differences. However, the results show that when faced with out-partisans whose views resemble their own, people readily ignore the similarity of preferences and focus on the conflict in group affiliation instead.

Keywords: social distance, negative partisanship, survey experiment, partisan stereotypes 

Seminar Room 2 - Badia Fiesolana DD/MM/YYYY
  Seminar Room 2 - Badia Fiesolana

A large body of literature shows that the effect of party cues transcends political judgments. However, little is known about the precise link of party cues to intolerance for persons with opposing political views in a non-US context. This paper explores the extent and limits of political prejudice. In particular, it examines whether knowing someone’s party alignment or stance on salient political issues decreases the weight one places on how compatible their political preferences are when making social judgments about them. The UK provides a valuable opportunity to research the roots of political intolerance, given its depolarisation on salient issues in recent decades, and paradoxically, considerable hostility between supporters of different parties. Especially, since the Labour and Conservative Parties are traditionally seen as representing opposing ideological poles in the eyes of the public. This picture is further coloured with the heightened tension around the issue of Brexit, which is now considered as powerful (if not more powerful) a source of social identity as partisanship. This provides an opportunity to compare the effect of partisan conflict and opinion-based group identity conflict on personal and ideological hostility towards the political other. This paper proposes an experimental design to induce a trade-off between judgement based on perceived ideological closeness and attitudes towards the rank-and-file of political groups, and presents results from a modest preliminary survey that finds that personal hostility is largely motivated by ideological differences. However, the results show that when faced with out-partisans whose views resemble their own, people readily ignore the similarity of preferences and focus on the conflict in group affiliation instead.

Keywords: social distance, negative partisanship, survey experiment, partisan stereotypes 


Location:
Seminar Room 2 - Badia Fiesolana

Affiliation:
Department of Political and Social Sciences

Type:
Working group

Contact:
Political Behaviour Colloquium - Send a mail

Organiser:
Francesco Colombo
SPS Researcher Emma Hoes (EUI)

Speaker:
Agnes Magyar (Univ. Essex)

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