Theme 2: The evolving politics of threat



Threat is one of the major driving forces of individual, group and societal behaviour. Threats can be perceived as coming from the outside or emerging from processes within societies. On the individual level, threats and accompanying feelings of threat can lead to severe psychological suffering, to reactions against the threatening agent as well as against third parties which are in one way or the other subjectively connected to the threatening agent. In a similar way, individual-, group- or national-level threats lead to domestic as well as international defensive processes. Individual as well as societal and political reactions to threat have strong implications for broad patterns of support for policing and civil rights.

The following publications by the Governance consortia relate to the evolving politics of threat:



  • Beraldo, D., Milan, S., de Vos, J., Agosti, C., Nadalic Sotic, b., Vliegenthart, R., Kruikemeier, S., Otto, L., Vermeer, S., Chu, X., & Votta, F. (2021). Political advertising exposed: tracking Facebook ads in the 2021 Dutch elections. Internet Policy Review. https://policyreview.info/articles/news/political-advertising-exposed-tracking-facebook-ads-2021-dutch-elections/1543.
  • Kefford, G., Dommett, K., Baldwin-Philippi, J., Bannerman, S., Dobber, T., Kruschinski, S., Kruikemeier, S., & Rzepecki, E. (2022). Data-driven campaigning and democratic disruption: Evidence from six advanced democracies. Party Politics. https://doi.org/10.1177/13540688221084039.
  • Stubenvoll, M., & Matthes, J. (2022) Four Paths To Misperceptions: A Panel Study On Resistance Against Journalistic Evidence. Media Psychology, 25:2, 318-341. https://doi.org/10.1080/15213269.2021.1951767.
  • Dommett, K. (2019) ‘Data-driven political campaigns in practice: understanding and regulating diverse data-driven campaigns’, Internet Policy Review, 8(4), 1-18. https://policyreview.info/articles/analysis/data-driven-political-campaigns-practice-understanding-and-regulating-diverse-data.
  • Dommett, K. (2019) ‘The Rise of Online Political Advertising’, Political Insight, 10(4). https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/2041905819891366.
  • Gibson, R. (2022) “Data-Driven Campaigning as a Disruptive Force” Political Communication (forthcoming 2022 in Special issue on Digital Campaigning in Dissonant Public Spheres).
  • Rommele, A., & Gibson, R. (2020) ‘Scientific and Subversive: Two Faces of the 4th Era of Political Campaigning.’ with Andrea Rommele. New Media & Society 2020. 22(4): 595-610.
  • Hirsch, M., Stubenvoll, M., Binder, A., & Matthes, J. (2023). Beneficial or harmful? How (mis)fit of targeted political advertising on social media shapes voter perceptions. Accepted: Journal of Advertising.
  • Glogger, I., Shehata, A., Hopmann, D. N., & Kruikemeier, S. (2022). The world around us and the picture(s) in our heads: The effects of news media use on belief organization. Communication Monographs. DOI: 10.1080/03637751.2022.2149830
  • Errenst, E., Van Remoortere, A., Vermeer, S., & Kruikemeier, S. (2023). Instaworthy? Examining the Effects of (Targeted) Civic Education Ads on Instagram. Media and Communication, 11(3)https://doi.org/10.17645/mac.v11i3.6614





  • Theocharis, Y., Cardenal, A., Jin, S., Aalberg, T., Hopmann, D. N., Strömbäck, J., Castro, L., Esser, F., Van Aelst, P., de Vreese, C., Corbu, N., Koc-Michalska, K., Matthes, J., Schemer, C., Sheafer, T., Splendore, S., Stanyer, J., Stępińska, A., & Štětka, V. (2021). Does the platform matter? Social media and COVID-19 conspiracy theory beliefs in 17 countries. New Media & Society. https://doi.org/10.1177/14614448211045666.
  • Zoizner, A., Sheafer, T., Castro, L., Aalberg, T., Cardenal, A. S., Corbu, N., de Vreese, C., Esser, F., Hopmann, D. N., Koc-Michalska, K., Matthes, J., Schemer, C., Splendore, S., Stanyer, J., Stępińska, A., Štětka, V., Strömbäck, J., Theocharis, Y., & Van Aelst, P. (2022). The Effects of the COVID-19 Outbreak on Selective Exposure: Evidence from 17 Countries. Political Communication, 39:5, 674-696. DOI: 10.1080/10584609.2022.2107745
  • Hameleers, M., Gehle, L., Tulin, M., Schemer, C., de Vreese, C., Aalberg, T., Van Aelst, P., Cardenal, A.S., Corbu, N., Van Erkel, P., Esser, F., Halagiera, D., Hopmann, D. N., Koc-Michalska, K., Matthes, J., Meltzer, C.E., Splendore, S., Stanyer, J., Stępińska, A., Štětka, V., Strömbäck, J., Terren, L., Theocharis, Y., & Zoizner, A. (Submitted). Misinformation Detection in the Context of the Russian Invasion of Ukraine: Evidence from Original Survey Data Collected in 19 Democracies. International Journal of Public Opinion Research.
  • Zilinsky, J., Theocharis, T., Tulin, M., Pradel, F., de Vreese, C., Van Aelst, P., Hopmann, D. N., Corbu, N., Cardenal, A.S., Strömbäck, J., Zoizner, A., Halagiera, D., Schemer, C., Hameleers, M., Gehle, L., Terren, L., Esser, F., Matthes, J., Štětka, V., Aalberg, T., Koc-Michalska, K., Stanyer, J., Stępińska, A., Splendore, S. (Submitted). Justifying an Invasion: When is Disinformation Successful?. Political Communication.
  • Hameleers, M., Tulin, M., de Vreese, C., Aalberg, T., Van Aelst, P., Cardenal, A.S., Corbu, N., Van Erkel, P., Esser, F., Gehle, L., Halagiera, D., Hopmann, D. N., Koc-Michalska, K., Matthes, J., Meltzer, C.E., Mihelj, S., Schemer, C., Sheafer, T., Splendore, S., Stanyer, J., Stępińska, A., Štětka, V., Strömbäck, J., Terren, L., Theocharis, Y., & Zoizner, A. (Submitted). Mistakenly Misinformed or Intentionally Deceived? Misinformation Perceptions on the Russian War in Ukraine. European Journal of Political Research.
  • Tulin, M., Hameleers, M., de Vreese, C., Aalberg, T., Cardenal, A.S., Corbu, N., Van Erkel, P., Esser, F.,Gehle, L., Halagiera, D., Hopmann, D. N., Koc-Michalska, K., Matthes, J., Meltzer, C.E., Mihelj, S.,Schemer, C., Sheafer, T., Splendore, S., Stanyer, J., Stępińska, A., Štětka, V., Strömbäck, J., Terren, L., Theocharis, Y., & Zoizner, A. (Submitted). Why do people fact-check mis- and disinformation about the Russian war in Ukraine? The role of directional and accuracy motivations. Journal of Communication.


  • Manunta, E., Becker, M., Easterbrook, M.J. & Vignoles, V.L. (2022), Economic Distress and Populism: Examining the Role of Identity Threat and Feelings of Social Exclusion. Political Psychology, 43: 893-912. https://doi.org/10.1111/pops.12824
  • Marchlewska, M., Górska, P., Green, R., Szczepańska, D., Rogoza, M., Molenda, Z., & Michalski, P. (2022). From Individual Anxiety to Collective Narcissism? Adult Attachment Styles and Different Types of National Commitment. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 0(0). DOI: https://doi-org.uaccess.univie.ac.at/10.1177/01461672221139072
  • van Noord, J., Spruyt, B., Kuppens, T., & Spears, R. (2023). Classified out of society? How educational classification induces political alienation through feelings of misrecognition. The British Journal of Sociology.
  • Rogoza, M., Marchlewska, M., & Rogoza, R. (2023). Towards integration of communal narcissism within the structure of the narcissistic personality traits. Journal of Research in Personality, 102, 104316.
  • García-Sánchez, E., Turner-Zwinkels, F., Kesberg, R., Marot, M., Rodríguez-Bailón, R., Willis, G. B., Kuppens, T. (2024). Economic Threats, Political and National Identification Predict Affective Polarization: Longitudinal Evidence From Spain. International Review of Social Psychology, 37(1), 5. https://doi.org/10.5334/irsp.838
  • García-Sánchez, E., García-Castro, J. D., Willis, G. B., & Rodríguez-Bailón, R. (2024). Economic Inequality and Unfairness Evaluations of Income Distribution Negatively Predict Political and Social Trust: Evidence From Latin America Over 23 Years. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 0(0). https://doi.org/10.1177/19485506231221310
  • García-Sánchez, E., Matamoros-Lima, J., Moreno-Bella, E. et al. (2024). Perceived Economic Inequality Is Negatively Associated with Subjective Well-being through Status Anxiety and Social Trust. Social Indicators Research, 172, 239–260. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11205-024-03306-x
  • van Noord, J., Kuppens, T., Spruyt, B. et al. (2024). Education-based affective attitudes: higher educated-bias is related to more political trust and less populism. Acta Polit. https://doi.org/10.1057/s41269-023-00322-6
  • Pesch, P.J. (n.d.). Potentials and obstacles of generative Large Language Models (LLMs) in the context of public decision-making.