System justification in France: liberté, égalité, fraternité

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JournalCurrent opinion in behavioral sciences
DateAccepted/In press - 23 Apr 2020
DateE-pub ahead of print - 16 Jun 2020
DatePublished (current) - Aug 2020
Number of pages7
Pages (from-to)185-191
Early online date16/06/20
Original languageEnglish


Because of the legacy of the French Revolution and the post-World War II consensus on providing social welfare, France provides an intriguing context in which to investigate political ideology and system justification. We summarize the results of a large, nationally representative survey of French voters, which revealed that general system justification was associated—not with rightist ideology, as in other countries—but with leftist ideology. That is, self-identified leftists scored higher than rightists on general system justification, and system justification was positively associated with liberal and leftist preferences concerning immigration and welfare. After adjusting for political orientation, high system-justifiers in France also scored lower on authoritarianism, despite scoring higher on group-based dominance. These findings suggest that the Enlightenment ideals of “Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité” are firmly established in France, and that liberal-leftist policies represent the status quo for most French citizens today.

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© 2020 Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy.

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