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Why they rebel peacefully: On the violence-reducing effects of a positive attitude towards democracy

  • Under the impression of Europe’s drift into Nazism and Stalinism in the first half of the 20th century, social psychological research has focused strongly on dangers inherent in people’s attachment to a political system. The dissertation at hand contributes to a more differentiated perspective by examining violence-reducing aspects of political system attachment in four consecutive steps: First, it highlights attachment to a social group as a resource for violence prevention on an intergroup level. The results suggest that group attachment fosters self-control, a well-known protective factor against violence. Second, it demonstrates violence-reducing influences of attachment on a societal level. The findings indicate that attachment to a democracy facilitate peaceful and prevent violent protest tendencies. Third, it introduces the concept of political loyalty, defined as a positive attitude towards democracy, in order to clarify the different approaches of political system attachment. A set of three studies show the reliability and validity of a newly developed political loyalty questionnaire that distinguishes between affective and cognitive aspects. Finally, the dissertation differentiates former findings with regard to protest tendencies using the concept of political loyalty. A set of two experiments show that affective rather than cognitive aspects of political loyalty instigate peaceful protest tendencies and prevent violent ones. Implications of this dissertation for political engagement and peacebuilding as well as avenues for future research are discussed.

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Author:Simon David Isemann
Referee:Eva Walther, Mark Dechesne
Advisor:Eva Walther, Mark Dechesne
Document Type:Doctoral Thesis
Date of completion:2020/02/25
Year of publication:2020
Publishing institution:Universität Trier
Granting institution:Universität Trier, Fachbereich 1
Date of final exam:2019/10/29
Release Date:2020/03/02
GND Keyword:Affektive Bindung; Demokratie; Fragebogen; Gewalt; Gruppe; Politisches System; Reduktion; Sozialpsychologie
Institutes:Fachbereich 1
Licence (German):License LogoCC BY-NC-ND: Creative-Commons-Lizenz 4.0 International

$Rev: 13581 $