Open Access Open Access  Restricted Access Subscription or Fee Access

Pluralistic political intolerance: A comparison of Eastern and Western Europe

Bojan Todosijević

Full Text: PDF



The article examines the influence of sociological and socio-psychological variables onto the selection of groups towards which political intolerance is directed. By comparing findings for Eastern and Western Europe, different political histories and levels of political actualization of social divisions are taken into account. The main hypothesis argues, contrary to Sullivan et al. (1979, 1985), that socio-psychological variables are crucial factors affecting the target group selection. The research is based on World Values Survey data, which include the so called ‘least liked’ measure of political tolerance. The findings suggest that differently ideologically colored targets of political intolerance have specific associations with socio-psychological variables. Low authoritarianism and post-materialist value orientation direct intolerance towards groups such as neo-Nazis, in both regions of Europe. Pro-democratic, liberal and rightwing orientation is associated with intolerance towards Stalinists, but only in Eastern Europe.

Keywords: political tolerance – social status – authoritarianism – Europe