How does terrorism influence citizens’ willingness to deny basic liberties to domestic groups alleged to be “fellow travelers” of the perpetrators of terrorism? Based on intergroup threat theory and social identity theory, we hypothesize that political intolerance toward fellow traveler groups is determined by three factors: (1) the level of terrorism, (2) the degree to which domestic outgroups are alleged to be demographically or politically associated with terrorist groups, and (3) whether individuals identify strongly with the political Right. Consistent with our hypotheses, we find that higher levels of terrorism in Israel over a thirty-year period produce a “diffusion of political intolerance” among Israeli Jews on the Right that extends to domestic groups distant from the perpetrators of terrorism. Our findings have important implications for the study of terrorism, democracy, and political tolerance.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We are grateful to Yochanan Peres, Eppie Yuchtman-Yaar, and Noah Lewin-Epstein for their willingness to share their survey data with us. We would like to thank Robert Rohrschneider, John Sides, Omer Yair, Kerem Ozan Kalkan, Shana Kushner Gadarian, Leonie Huddy, Brian Krueger, Clayton Thyne, and Abby Cordova for their helpful comments on earlier drafts. We are indebted to Yasmin Alkalai, Yael Proaktor, Yu Ouyang, and John Poe for their technical assistance. The author(s) received no financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.
© The Author(s) 2022.
- political identity
- political tolerance