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Thesis (Bachelor's)

University of Iceland > Félagsvísindasvið > B.A./B.Ed./B.S. verkefni - Félagsvísindasvið >

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1946/32718

Title: 
  • The Authoritarians. A study of politics and psychology
  • Title is in Icelandic Valdboðshyggja. Samspil stjórnmála og sálfræði.
Degree: 
  • Bachelor's
Abstract: 
  • Across Europe, in Russia, the Middle East and in the United States, politicians, parties and movements of an authoritarian kind, saw electoral success in the last decade, defying expectations of a continuation of the previous trend towards the spreading of liberal democracies post-World War II.
    Various competing perspectives vie for the stage to explain this development. Has pop culture and consumerism diminished the capacity of voters to understand or care about abstract, complex problems? Have previously scattered and disunited racists and sexists finally coalesced under unified banners? Is it Russian propaganda warfare that has influenced this swing towards more authoritarian styles of politics? Or the question at the heart of this thesis, can Altemeyer's theory of Right Wing Authoritarianism explain this voting behaviour? That is, are there psychological factors, either innate or socialized, through nature or nurture or a combination thereof, coupled with an environment of disasters and turmoil; financial collapse, mass corruption, war and terrorism, that contribute to the behaviour of voters, who ally themselves to authoritarian causes.
    To answer this, the thesis will analyze and describe Altemeyer’s theory, provide a theoretical and literary review of other significant works that pertain to the topic of authoritarianism as well as independent research and the wealth of electoral data on voters of Donald Trump. The thesis will then conclude with a critical analysis of Altemeyer's theory; evaluate it‘s credibility as a psychometric method of measuring authoritarianism and discuss possible limitations.

Accepted: 
  • May 7, 2019
URI: 
  • http://hdl.handle.net/1946/32718


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