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Do Terrorist Attacks Feed Populist Eurosceptics? Evidence from Two Comparative Quasi-Experiments

Larsen, Erik Gahner, Cutts, David, Goodwin, Matthew J. (2019) Do Terrorist Attacks Feed Populist Eurosceptics? Evidence from Two Comparative Quasi-Experiments. European Journal of Political Research, 59 (1). pp. 182-205. E-ISSN 1475-6765. (doi:10.1111/1475-6765.12342) (KAR id:73040)

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Over the recent years, Europe has experienced a series of Islamic terrorist attacks. We derive conflicting theoretical expectations on whether such attacks increase populist Euroscepticism in the form of anti-immigration, anti-refugee and anti-EU sentiment. Empirically, we exploit plausible exogenous variation in the exposure to the 2016 Berlin attack in two nationally representative surveys covering multiple European countries. We find no evidence for a populist response to the terrorist attack in any of the surveyed countries. On the contrary, people in Germany became more positive towards the EU in the wake of the Berlin attack. Moreover, we find little evidence that ideology shaped the response to the attack. Our findings suggest that terrorist attacks are not met by an immediate public populist response.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1111/1475-6765.12342
Uncontrolled keywords: public opinion, populism, terrorism, Europe
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Politics and International Relations
Depositing User: Erik Larsen
Date Deposited: 17 Mar 2019 13:57 UTC
Last Modified: 21 May 2021 23:00 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Larsen, Erik Gahner:
Goodwin, Matthew J.:
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