ElectionGudie

Kalmoe: Does Violent Political Rhetoric Fuel Support for Political Violence?

Jan. 10, 2011, 8:35 p.m.


Nathan P. Kalmoe, a Ph.D. Candidate at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, has published a paper, Does Violent Political Rhetoric Fuel Support for Political Violence? Kalmoe's paper is concerned with finding the relationship between political rhetoric and political violence.

Does violent political rhetoric fuel support for political violence? Political leaders regularly infuse communication with metaphors of fighting and war. Building from theoretical foundations in media violence research, I field a nationally-representative survey experiment in which subjects are randomly assigned to different forms of the same political advertisements. I find that even mild violent language increases support for political violence among citizens with aggressive predispositions, especially among young adults.

Although Kalmoe is examining the United States, the results may be of interest to any practitioners who work in conflict-prone electoral environments.

comments powered by Disqus