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How Terrorism could Affect the 2016 Election


Politics is often frightening, whether because of a terrorist attack, a public health outbreak, or an immigration crisis. In this essay, we argue that when politics is threatening, an anxious public wants to feel protected. In turn, the public support leaders and policies they believe will keep them safe. In a world made threatening by terrorism, politicians may be all too eager to amplify alarm bells in order to promote their preferred policies. We hope that the election season means Americans will see some contestation over the best way to keep us safe.

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Correspondence to Bethany Albertson.

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Albertson, B., Kushner Gadarian, S. How Terrorism could Affect the 2016 Election. Soc 53, 479–481 (2016).

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  • Emotions
  • Political psychology
  • Election 2016