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Growing perceived threat and prejudice as sources of intolerance: evidence from the 2015 Turkish general elections

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Tolerance is a central concept for a society’s democratic foundations. Many forms of populism threaten tolerance and are a growing concern for consolidated liberal democracies as well developing ones. Right-wing ideology, heightened nationalism, and xenophobic rhetoric toward minorities are threatening social cohesion, public unity, and liberal values. Turkey, subject to various destabilizing recent events, faces specific challenges amid political, social, and economic uncertainties. Using two waves of a nationally representative survey, conducted after each of two general elections in 2015, we studied changes in the behavioral indicators of intolerance in the Turkish electorate. We found that perceived threat and prejudice explain changes in public intolerance during this period. We discuss the implications of our results for the standing of democracy in Turkey.
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Keywords: 2015 Turkish elections; Turkish political culture; intolerance; perceived threat; prejudice; voting behavior

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Political Science and International Relations, Yeditepe University, Istanbul, Turkey 2: Department of International Relations, Istanbul Bilgi University, Istanbul, Turkey

Publication date: January 1, 2019

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