Zubarev N. S.

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  • № 1, 2023

    • National Pride as Mediator of Trust in President (Case of Russia)

      How do leaders of non-democratic states retain support of the population? One of the most popular explanations in the modern Political Science suggests that people in non-democratic countries vote for incumbents and generally have a positive attitude towards them, because the latter possess maximum access to resources that can potentially be directed to improve the lives of the people. However, such an explanatory model leaves out the expressive component of political behavior. Meanwhile, citizens of authoritarian countries can sincerely express solidarity with the current rulers. The theory of social identity reveals this side of the problem, offering alternative explanations for the mechanisms of political support.

      National identity as one of the forms of social identity shapes expectations, norms and patterns of behavior that are associated with the idea of a perfect representative of the nation. The specific characteristics of authoritarian states nudge citizens towards behavior and attitudes that contribute to maintaining the status quo. Moreover, since it is often difficult for an average person to rationally assess the actual performance of government and correctly attribute responsibility for social, political, and economic outcomes when deciding which politician to support, voters tend to use cognitive “shortcuts” based on their own satisfaction with life. The article proposes a hypothesis that national pride plays the role of a mediator between subjective well-being and the level of political support (operationalized via trust in president). The author tested this hypothesis using survey data and reveled that the mediation effect of pride for the nation is indeed present, however, it is partial. The results of the analysis indicate that subjective well-being has a positive effect on the support of the incumbent, both directly and through an increased national pride.

      DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2023-108-1-126-140

      Pages: 126-140