Terrorism and Political Attitudes: Evidence from European Social Surveys

69 Pages Posted: 12 Apr 2021 Last revised: 17 Apr 2021

See all articles by Giovanni Peri

Giovanni Peri

University of California, Davis - Department of Economics

Daniel I. Rees

University of Colorado Denver; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Brock Smith

Montana State University - Billings

Date Written: April 2021

Abstract

Since the turn of the last century, nationalistic political parties have been gaining support in Europe. Over the same period, terror attacks have increased. Using data from European Social Surveys (ESS), we examine the effects of terror attacks involving at least one fatality on attitudes towards immigrants and government institutions. Comparing within-country responses to the ESS shortly before and after fatal terror attacks, we find little evidence of a shift in attitudes against immigrants. Consistent with “rally-around-the flag” effects documented by political scientists, ESS respondents living in the region that was attacked tend to express more trust in parliament and more satisfaction with the national government in the post- as compared to the pre-attack period. Similarly, we find evidence that particularly salient terror attacks can produce nationwide rally-around-the-flag effects.

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Suggested Citation

Peri, Giovanni and Rees, Daniel I. and Smith, Brock, Terrorism and Political Attitudes: Evidence from European Social Surveys (April 2021). NBER Working Paper No. w28662, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3824539

Giovanni Peri (Contact Author)

University of California, Davis - Department of Economics ( email )

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Daniel I. Rees

University of Colorado Denver ( email )

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Brock Smith

Montana State University - Billings ( email )

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Billings, MT 59101
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