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My primary area of research, political extremism, is grounded in my earlier work on right-wing extremism. Relying on surveys, I extensively study some of the prominent features of political extremism, namely xenophobia, political intolerance, [political] exclusionism, and anti-democracy, keeping in mind their inevitable link to violent conflict. Public attitudes to minorities are hotly debated, yet the empirical evidence is often mixed. This ongoing research (with Julia Elad-Strenger and Lihi Ben-Shitrit), which received the support of the Konrad-Adenauer Foundation (2021-2023) is seeking to augment our understanding of psychosocial processes associated with exclusionary reactions to minorities/”the other” from both empirical and normative perspectives, with the goal, in part, of developing ‘best practices’ for government bodies and NGOs seeking to weaken the pull of extremism. Drawing upon a rich literature in social psychology along with our own original research, we seek to inform the political science debate by highlighting the unique role of personality characteristics, intergroup emotions and threat perceptions in promoting extremist attitudes and behaviors toward minorities.

View related papers:

Lihi Ben-Shitrit, Elad-Strenger Julia and Hirsch-Hoefler, Sivan (2017). Gender Differences in Support for Direct and Indirect Political Aggression in the Context of Protracted Conflict. Journal of Peace Research, 54(6), 733-747. View.

Shuman, Eric, Cohen-Chen, Smadar, Hirsch-Hoefler, Sivan and Halperin, Eran. (2016). Explaining normative versus non-normative action: The role of implicit theories. Political Psychology, 27 (6), 835-852.​  View.

Hirsch-Hoefler Sivan, Canetti-Nisim Daphna and Pedahzur Ami (2010). Two of a Kind: Voting Motivations for Populist Radical Right and Religious Fundamentalist Parties, Electoral Studies, Volume 29 (4), 678-690. View

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