What is the basis for intolerance? This book addresses that question by developing a universal theory about what causes intolerance of difference in general, which includes racism, political intolerance (e.g. restriction of free speech), moral intolerance (e.g. homophobia, supporting censorship, opposing abortion) and punitiveness. It demonstrates that all these seemingly disparate attitudes are principally caused by just two factors: individuals' innate psychological predispositions to intolerance ('authoritarianism') interacting with changing conditions of societal threat. The threatening conditions, resonant particularly in the present political climate, that exacerbate authoritarian attitudes include national economic downturn, rapidly rising crime rates, civil dissent and unrest, loss of confidence in social institutions, presidential unpopularity, divisive presidential campaigns, and internal or external crises that undermine national pride or confidence.
Using purpose-built experimental manipulations, cross-national survey data and in-depth personal interviews with extreme authoritarians, the book shows that this simple model provides the most complete account of intolerance.
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(228mm x 152mm x 22mm)
Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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Author Biography - Karen Stenner
Karen Stenner is Assistant Professor of Politics at Princeton University, New Jersey where she has been teaching since 1998. She has previously taught at Duke University, North Carolina. She is the recipient of the Stanley Kelly Teaching Award awarded by the Department of Politics at Princeton University in 2001. Professor Stenner is the co-author of Electoral Behavior: Introduction to Theories, Methods, and Data (ACSPRI, 1992) and has co-authored articles in Political Behavior, Political Psychology, and the Australian Journal of Political Science, among others.