Democracy as a legitimizing ideology

Pj Henry, Geoffrey Wetherell, Mark J. Brandt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Democracy as an abstract belief system bestows rights to individuals and serves egalitarian principles. However, the language of democracy may be used to justify harmful treatment of others in the world. Data from 3 representative samples of adults are presented demonstrating that satisfaction with and support for democracy are associated with support for militarism, a hierarchy-maintaining tool, among those who oppose equality compared with those who support equality. Furthermore, these data highlight the importance of political (Study 2) and historical (Study 3) contexts, demonstrating that democracy is associated with militarism particularly when people oppose equality, in contexts in which democracy is especially valued, and at historical moments when it is militarily expedient (i.e., wartime).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)648-664
Number of pages17
JournalPeace and Conflict
Volume21
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

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ideology
democracy
equality
militarism
language

Keywords

  • Democracy
  • Equality
  • Legitimizing ideology
  • Militarism
  • Social dominance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Political Science and International Relations

Cite this

Democracy as a legitimizing ideology. / Henry, Pj; Wetherell, Geoffrey; Brandt, Mark J.

In: Peace and Conflict, Vol. 21, No. 4, 01.01.2015, p. 648-664.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Henry, P, Wetherell, G & Brandt, MJ 2015, 'Democracy as a legitimizing ideology', Peace and Conflict, vol. 21, no. 4, pp. 648-664. https://doi.org/10.1037/pac0000117
Henry, Pj ; Wetherell, Geoffrey ; Brandt, Mark J. / Democracy as a legitimizing ideology. In: Peace and Conflict. 2015 ; Vol. 21, No. 4. pp. 648-664.
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