These with authoritarian political opinions usually tend to be involved about terrorism and border management than a future new well being pandemic, new analysis reveals.
Through the pandemic, fairly than a want for a stronger authorities with the power to impose measures to deal with the pandemic and its penalties, individuals with authoritarian views rejected this and embraced particular person autonomy.
Researchers analysed public perceptions of safety threats in 2012 and in 2020. They imagine COVID-19 belongs to a definite class of threats of which these with authoritarian views are much less involved and will even reduce.
The research says COVID-19 didn’t appear to disproportionately have an effect on authoritarian concern about social divisions in British society.
The research, by Professor Dan Stevens and Professor Susan Banducci from the College of Exeter, and Dr Laszlo Horvath from the Birkbeck, College of London, is printed within the journal Politics and the Life Sciences.
Professor Stevens stated: “This analysis reveals completely different safety threats shouldn’t be handled as alike. Safety threats linked with well being and infectious illnesses reminiscent of avian flu in 2012 and COVID-19 in 2020 didn’t appear to concern these with authoritarian views in the best way you’d count on. This appears to be as a result of nature of the menace.
“When a difficulty threatens social norms or damages social cohesion—which is how authoritarians are likely to view immigration—they reply in another way. Covid019 was not seen as this type of menace. Nonetheless, with rising infectious illnesses growing in frequency over the previous 5 a long time such perceptions may develop with future pandemics.”
The surveys had been the June 2012 Perceptions of Safety in an Age of Austerity on-line survey carried out by ICM for Stevens and Vaughan-Williams and an internet survey carried out for researchers by Opinion Analysis Enterprise (ORB) in July 2020.
Every survey requested about ten points and whether or not respondents considered them as nationwide and private threats. The ten points had been: immigration; terrorism; weak border management; well being pandemics, reminiscent of avian flu (2012) or COVID-19 (2020); environmental points, reminiscent of world warming or greenhouse fuel results; useful resource shortage; financial melancholy, monetary disaster, and unemployment; housebreaking; crimes towards girls; and racial or non secular hate crimes.
Perceptions of the 5 problems with terrorism, the economic system, immigration, weak border management, and racial or non secular hate crimes as threats had been steady throughout the 2 surveys, whereas the brand new problems with well being pandemic, environmental points, and racial and spiritual hate crimes loomed bigger within the later survey. There have been will increase in perceptions of virtually all points as private threats in comparison with 2012—solely housebreaking confirmed a small lower. Whereas the economic system and terrorism had been among the many top-ranked private threats in each years, a few of the will increase in perceptions of threats from different points had been massive, notably a well being pandemic and environmental points. Causes for the rise within the private menace from terrorism may very well be associated to the variety of comparatively small-scale assaults that weren’t a function of Islamic terrorism in the UK as much as 2012, reminiscent of these at Westminster, the Manchester Enviornment, and London’s Borough Market in 2017.
Researchers in contrast modifications in perceptions of the ten threats with the quantity of newspaper consideration to them within the yr previous to the survey, utilizing Nexis, as a measure of elevated or decreased menace for every challenge. Media protection of terrorism with a extra private body elevated significantly in 2020 over 2012.
Immigration, for which there was elevated menace within the context of the 2020 survey, was disproportionately extra more likely to be seen as a menace by authoritarians than in 2012. These with authoritarian views had been additionally extra more likely to establish terrorism and border management as threats in each surveys than respondents with out authoritarian views.