Positive associations between anomia and intentions to engage in political violence: Cross-cultural evidence from four countries.

Jais Adam-Troian*, Eric Bonetto, Marcos Vinícius Araujo, Ouissam Baidada, Elif Çelebi, Marcos Dono Martin, Fade Eadeh, Amélie Godefroidt, Slieman Halabi, Yara Mahfud, Florent Varet, Taylan Yurtbakan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Psychological research suggests that politically motivated violence (e.g., terrorism) partially stems from existential motives, and more specifically from individuals' need to achieve significance in life (Signif-icance Quest Theory [SQT]; Kruglanski et al., 2014). Interestingly, sociological research has established similar findings linking anomia-a syndrome including feelings of meaninglessness, powerlessness, isolation, self-estrangement and normlessness-with violent behavior. In line with SQT, the present contribution aimed to test for the first time if anomia could be linked with political violence. Results from a study conducted in four countries (Brazil, Turkey, Belgium, and France; N = 1,240) supported this hypothesis by revealing a consistent, small-to-medium-sized positive correlation between anomia and intentions to display political violence (r = .21, 95% CI [.14, .28]) among undergraduate samples. This link held across countries, independently of political ideology. These results highlight the theoretical and practical usefulness of considering the role of anomia in explaining violent political behavior.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)217-223
Number of pages7
JournalPeace and Conflict
Volume26
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Keywords

  • Anomia
  • Cross-cultural study
  • Political violence
  • Radicalism
  • Significance quest

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Political Science and International Relations

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