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Left-Right and threat perceptions
As far as threat perceptions are concerned, Europeans and Americans, of all ideological bends, look very much the same. There is some impact of the Left-Right division, although it is a weak one. Americans are slightly more worried in general about Realist threats than Europeans, but the
Table 4.1 Distribution of the four main dimensions of the Atlantic community on the Left-Right ideological divide
(1) % high threat; (2) % warm feelings (>50); (3) % high and very high Atlanticism
Source: GMFUS, various years pooled. EU-6 includes France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Netherlands, United Kingdom
linear relation is the same for both and it goes monotonically upward as we move from Left to Right.
Those on the Right, both in the US and Europe, are more concerned about Realist threats, such as conflict and military force (Pearson r correlation is respectively 0.169 and 0.144 and for US and the EU-5, both significant at level 0.000). On the contrary, and only in the US, those on the Left are more likely to be worried about global threats than the Right (Pearson r = -0.025 in Europe and -0.171 in US, both significant at level 0.000). The fact that ideological predispositions work in the same way in Europe and the United States is a further confirmation of the substantial similarity in threat perceptions on the two sides of the Atlantic noted in Chapter 3. However, it should also be noted that the Left-Right divide impacts on the perception of threat more strongly in US than in Europe.
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