New research provides evidence that conspiracy beliefs, openness to authoritarianism, and a desire to disrupt the social order are key factors in predicting antisemitic attitudes. The findings, published in Humanities and Social Sciences Communications, challenge common assumptions about the relationship between political ideologies and antisemitism.
While several attitudes related to right-wing extremism were linked to antisemitism, a facet of left-wing authoritarianism emerged as the strongest predictor overall.
Antisemitism has been a persistent issue throughout history, often associated with discrimination, hatred, and even violence against Jewish communities. Understanding the root causes and predictors of antisemitism is crucial for combating this problem. Previous research has hinted at potential connections between political ideologies and antisemitism, but the recent study aimed to provide a more comprehensive and nuanced understanding of specific ideological beliefs.
“I’ve been publishing research on antisemitism for five years now,” said lead author Daniel Allington, a reader at King’s College London. “I initially became interested in the topic in 2015 because of allegations about antisemitism in the UK Labour Party. I was a member of the Labour Party at that time, and my initial reaction was to dismiss the idea.”
“But when I began to look into it the following year, I quickly realised that there was a real problem: people with very obviously antisemitic attitudes were feeling inspired to support the party leadership. Before long, my research agenda was almost completely taken over with the effort to understand what was going on.”
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