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Group identities must become political in one way or the other because when they are constructed, they are based around several social issues or circumstances that brought them together in the first place. Groups are formed because people have the same common interests and political aspects have to come up despite the nature of the group (Ratcliff, 2016). Group interests are either material or psychological. Material groups tend to change the unfavorable outcomes whereas the psychological groups tend to focus more on the psychological value that they gain from the group.
Religion has played a vital part in politics because it is the backbone of individual belief system. Group mentality often states that people of the same religion often tend to follow a leader that is of the same religion as them because they can identify more with that individual. Additionally, religion plays a crucial part in the shaping of ones beliefs and morals and therefore, it most definitely helps in shaping the political attitudes of people. Theories that explain why religion affects people’s political attitudes include reactionary, conservative, radical and liberal theories (Vergani, 2016).
Democracy entails leaders and voters working together to better the nation. A democratic country is one where everyone’s views are respected regardless of race, ethnicity, class or religion. Therefore, if the leaders and the voters are not entirely rational, a democracy cannot work and a nation cannot grow (Ratcliff, 2016). When leaders know the rational of the voters, they are able to learn their objectives and goals and therefore predict the choices that they will make. Alternatives to rationality include incentives and information. These incentives are not necessarily monetary but, are used as a way for voters to be more careful when choosing their leaders and processing the information about them.
Terrorists are not completely irrational because to them, it is what they believe in. All terrorists have incentives that push them towards committing the acts that they do(Ratcliff, 2016). Incentives are wither material, emotional or ideological. Some people join radical groups so that they can have a sense of belonging or be part of a group that they can identify with. To join such a group, one has to first share the common views and ideas with the perpetrators and some of the selling points are religiously based. People who are extreme believers in a certain religion or cause are more prone to being targeted and recruited to join terrorist groups (Oliver and Mendelberg 2000, p.577). Others join these groups as a way of supporting their families. Aside from the promise of 72 virgins awaiting one in heaven, suicide bombers are promised monetary compensation which often goes to their family members once they are dead. Terror groups like Al-Qaida, Al-Shabab and ISIS often offer monetary compensation to their suicide bombers. Thrill seekers are also targets for terror groups given that they live for the high and often seek to find it by any means necessary.
News about terrorism definitely affects the votes of people. This is because, cases of terrorism continue to increase and most people have been affected by it in own way or another. Citizens want to feel safe in their homes or when they go to a restaurant to eat or to a mall to shop(Ratcliff, 2016). When voters hear in the news that a terrorist cell has struck again somewhere, this strikes fears in them and a leader who promises to increase security and stop the terrorists gets more votes than one who doesn’t have a plan of how to stop the terrorists.
The differences between these theories are that they do not explain in depth how most of the theories relate directly to the voters decision making process. While the reasons may overlap at one point, they realty do not offer empirical information therefore making them quite unreliable. The similarity between all these theories is that they all focus on the factors that influence voters in their decision making processes (Vergani, 2016). They all try to explain why voters make the decisions that they do and what drives them towards these decisions.
Political ideologies are either conservative or liberal. They can be distinguished by the fight over inequalities of the economic front. Voters want to know that the leaders they elect will provide them with all the tools necessary to making their lives easier. Economic circumstances include governmental spending on projects like health, education, immigration, trade unions etc. therefore, those with either a liberal or conservative ideology, people can either support or fear change (Vergani, 2016).
Bartels, L. 2010. Unequal Democracy: The Political Economy of the New Gilded Age. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Dr. Mateo Vergani 2016. Politics and Religion. Retrieved on 24 September, 2016 from matteovergani.wordpress.com.
Dr. Matteo Vergani 2016. Perceptions of the threat of Terrorism.
Dr. Matteo Vergani 2016. Politics and Violence. How do Psychological Factors Contribute to Explain Radicalization and Terrorism.
Mateo Oliver, E. and T. Mendelberg 2000. Reconsidering the environmental determinants of white racial attitudes. American Journal of Political Science, 44(3):574–589
Shaun Ratcliff 2016. Group Identity. Monash University.
Shaun Ratcliff 2016. Political Ideology. Monash University.
Shaun Ratcliff 2016. Prejudice, Discrimination and the case of Asylum Seekers. Monash University.
Shaun Ratcliff 2016. Rational Choice or Cognitive Biases. Monash University.
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