White Demographic Anxiety and Support for Torture of Terrorism Suspects

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In this study I use a survey experiment to test whether the prospect of White demographic decline affects attitudes toward treatment of terrorism suspects. I find that when White subjects are informed that Whites are projected to become a demographic minority in the United States by 2060 they are more likely to approve of the use of torture on terrorism suspects. In contrast, White subjects who are informed that Whites are expected to remain a demographic majority through 2030 are not. I also find that the effect of White decline salience on support for torture of terror suspects is mediated through a heighted perception of threat due to terrorism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)769-797
Number of pages29
JournalStudies in Conflict and Terrorism
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Safety Research
  • Political Science and International Relations


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