How terrorism affects political attitudes: France in the aftermath of the 2015–2016 attacks
West European Politics
GB : Routledge
1073 - 1099 p.
France, Terrorism, Attitudes
This study investigates what impact the terrorist attacks in Paris (2015) and Nice (2016) had on political attitudes in France. Drawing on nine cross-sectional surveys, it tests the premises of three major theories of opinion change that predict contrasting shifts in opinion among ordinary citizens according to their ideological position in the aftermath of terrorist attacks: the Reactive Liberals Hypothesis (RLH), the Terror Management Theory (TMT), and the Bayesian Updating Theory (BUT). In line with both RLH and BUT, the findings show that left-wing sympathisers shifted toward the right following the attacks. However, the results suggest that, in line with BUT, the attacks only had a significant impact on attitudes toward security, while they had no effect on attitudes toward immigration, or toward moral and socio-economic issues.