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The ideological foundations of economic protectionism: Authoritarianism, social dominance orientation, and the moderating role of political involvement

: Jedinger, Alexander; Burger, Axel M.

Volltext urn:nbn:de:0011-n-5592816 (442 KByte PDF)
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Erstellt am: 1.10.2019

Political psychology 41 (2020), Nr.2, S.403-424
ISSN: 0162-895X
ISSN: 1467-9221
Zeitschriftenaufsatz, Elektronische Publikation
Fraunhofer ISI ()
right‐wing authoritarianism; social dominance orientation; protectionism; trade attitudes

Even though economic globalization and foreign trade are major topics in the political discourse of most societies and negative attitudes toward international trade are prevalent, there is a lack of research investigating the ideological roots of protectionist preferences from a psychological perspective. In the present research, we examined the implications of right-wing authoritarianism (RWA) and social dominance orientation (SDO) for trade attitudes. Using data from two nationally representative samples from the United States (Study 1) and Germany (Study 2), we found that RWA predicted protectionist attitudes above and beyond economic self-interest. Furthermore, we found that the relationship between RWA and opposition to international trade was moderated by political involvement. The association of SDO with protectionist attitudes was inconsistent across the two studies and was not moderated by political involvement. Taken together, these results emphasize the importance of basic ideological orientations and the psychological dispositions they reflect in explaining public attitudes toward international trade.