Authoritarianism and political choice in France
GB : Palgrave Macmillan
612 - 634 p.
Authoritarianism, Political behaviour
Authoritarianism is a key concept in personality psychology, with a strong impact on political behavior in the United States. Yet, it has rarely been included in studies of political behavior in Europe. Drawing on a nationwide representative sample of the French electorate, we assess the demographic correlates of authoritarianism, as well as its impact on ethnic intolerance, economic conservatism, and propensity to vote for the four major French political parties. Results suggest that authoritarianism is positively associated with both intolerance and economic conservatism. Moreover, there is a strong and positive impact of authoritarianism on the propensity to vote for the far right Front National. Finally, contrary to the common left-wing authoritarianism thesis, we find a significant and negative association between authoritarianism and voting for the far left in France, both with and without taking attitudinal factors into account. These findings extend our understanding of the personality trait of authoritarianism and its impact on vote choice and political attitudes.