Objectives. The urgency of the Covid-19 pandemic has led governments to impose restrictions on individual freedom and required citizens to comply with these restrictions. In addition, lockdowns related to Covid-19 have led to a significant economic crisis. We aimed to study how the pandemic and related economic threats have impacted support for anti-democratic political systems. Method. We analysed data from a quota panel of the Italian adult population (N = 1,195), surveyed once before and once during the pandemic. Results. A hierarchical regression model showed that exposure to Covid-19 and perceived economic insecurity were associated with support for anti-democratic political systems, independent of participants’ predispositions toward a strong leader. Conclusion. An authoritarian personality is not a necessary precondition for individual anti-democracy: when facing severe personal threats, anyone could restore a subjective sense of control over the social world by becoming anti-democratic, independently of their initial predisposition to support for anti-democratic political systems.

A democratic emergency after a health emergency? Exposure to COVID-19, perceived economic threat and support for anti-democratic political systems

Michele Roccato
First
;
Silvia Russo
Last
2020

Abstract

Objectives. The urgency of the Covid-19 pandemic has led governments to impose restrictions on individual freedom and required citizens to comply with these restrictions. In addition, lockdowns related to Covid-19 have led to a significant economic crisis. We aimed to study how the pandemic and related economic threats have impacted support for anti-democratic political systems. Method. We analysed data from a quota panel of the Italian adult population (N = 1,195), surveyed once before and once during the pandemic. Results. A hierarchical regression model showed that exposure to Covid-19 and perceived economic insecurity were associated with support for anti-democratic political systems, independent of participants’ predispositions toward a strong leader. Conclusion. An authoritarian personality is not a necessary precondition for individual anti-democracy: when facing severe personal threats, anyone could restore a subjective sense of control over the social world by becoming anti-democratic, independently of their initial predisposition to support for anti-democratic political systems.
101
6
2193
2202
Support for anti-democratic political systems, Economic insecurity, COVID-19
Michele Roccato, Nicoletta Cavazza, Pasquale Colloca, Silvia Russo
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
Submitted.pdf

Accesso aperto con embargo fino al 01/10/2022

Tipo di file: POSTPRINT (VERSIONE FINALE DELL’AUTORE)
Dimensione 202.87 kB
Formato Adobe PDF
202.87 kB Adobe PDF   Visualizza/Apri   Richiedi una copia

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2318/1760585
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 8
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 7
social impact