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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

EU-6

US

Dimensions of Atlanticism

Left

Center

Right

Left

Center

Right

Realist threatl

62

73

76

65

76

80

Global threatl

53

53

51

70

61

47

Feel US2

28

38

46

79

86

90

Feel EU2

62

56

55

60

46

36

Atlanticism3

42

56

63

88

81

69

Hawks

4

5

6

14

20

30

Doves

61

52

44

24

16

11

Pragmatists

27

36

41

57

60

56

(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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