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    Authoritarianism, perceptions of security threats and the Covid-19 pandemic: a new perspective

    Stevens, D. and Banducci, S. and Horvath, Laszlo (2023) Authoritarianism, perceptions of security threats and the Covid-19 pandemic: a new perspective. Politics and the Life Sciences , ISSN 0730-9384.

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    This paper offers a new perspective on when and why individual-level authoritarian perceptions of security threats change. We re-examine claims that authoritarian members of the public responded in counterintuitive fashion to the Covid-19 pandemic. The response was counterintuitive in that, rather than a desire for stronger government with the ability to impose measures to address the pandemic and its consequences, authoritarian individuals rejected a stronger government response and embraced individual autonomy. The paper draws on perceptions of security threats—issues that directly or indirectly harm personal or collective safety and welfare—from surveys in two different contexts in England: 2012, when perceptions of the threat from infectious disease was low relative to most other security threats, and 2020, when perceptions of the personal and collective threat of Covid-19 superseded all other security threats. We argue that the authoritarian response was not counterintuitive once we account for the type of threat it represented


    Item Type: Article
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences
    Research Centres and Institutes: Birkbeck Centre for British Political Life
    Depositing User: Laszlo Horvath
    Date Deposited: 27 Sep 2023 13:35
    Last Modified: 02 Nov 2023 13:31


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