Major political events such as terrorist attacks and forced relocation of citizens may have an immediate effect on attitudes towards ethnic minorities associated with these events. The psychological process that leads to political exclusionism of minority groups was examined using a field study among Israeli settlers in Gaza days prior to the Disengagement Plan adopted by the Israeli government on June 6, 2004 and enacted in August 2005. Lending credence to integrated threat theory and to theory on authoritarianism, our analyses show that the positive effect of religiosity on political exclusionism results from the two-staged mediation of authoritarianism and perceived threat. We conclude that religiosity fosters authoritarianism, which in turn tends to move people towards exclusionism both directly and through the mediation of perceived threat.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was funded by grants from the Ohio Board of Regents and the National Institute of Mental Health (RO1MH073687) to the first and third authors. The opinions expressed in the paper are the authors’ and not those of NIMH. Many people have read and commented on earlier drafts of this paper. We are particularly grateful to Jonathan Cohen, John Duckitt, Cas Mudde, Yariv Tsfati, and Israel Waismel-Manor. We owe a special thanks to Brian J. Hall for his advice on preparing the datasets. Finally, we thank the two anonymous referees for their helpful comments.
- Perceived threat
- Terrorist attacks