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Political Cynicism and Kynicism of Croatian Citizens: Profiles of Political Thinking and Behavior

[journal article]

Blanuša, Nebojša; Bovan, Kosta

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Please use the following Persistent Identifier (PID) to cite this document:http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:0168-ssoar-444241

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Abstract In the last thirty years uneasiness among scholars and political actors has been growing larger as more citizens demonstrate cynical attitudes. These citizens feel that politicians are immoral and incompetent, have less faith in democracy, and show lower levels of political participation. However, Peter Sloterdijk points out that the dominant view of cynicism is simplified. He divides cynical reason into two separate ways of thinking: cynicism and kynicism. The main difference between them is in individual's reaction to the cleavage between public ideological mask and individual's idea of social reality. Cynics persist in keeping the ideological mask on and have an "enlightened false consciousness", while kynics highlight this cleavage, oppose the dominant ideology and point out misuses of political power. This research was conducted with the goal of creating cynicism and kynicism scales. Their validity was tested for two samples - a smaller sample of students and later on the representative sample of Croatian citizens (N=1002). Also, connection of cynical and kynical thought with an array of relevant political attitudes and political behavior was tested. Results indicate that cynicism and kynicism are relatively separated and coherent types of political thought. Kynicism is primarily related to low trust in political institutions, but also to lower support of democracy. Specific combinations of these two types of thought have a highly negative potential for abandoning the democratic way of thinking. This work offers an empirical confirmation for Sloterdijk's model, and confirms usefulness of it in understanding political thought and behavior of Croatian citizens.
Keywords Croatia; public opinion; political participation; political attitude; opinion formation; political behavior; alienation
Classification Political Process, Elections, Political Sociology, Political Culture; Applied Psychology
Free Keywords political cynicism; political kynicism; cynicism scale; kynicism scale
Document language English
Publication Year 2015
Page/Pages p. 1-29
Journal European Quarterly of Political Attitudes and Mentalities, 4 (2015) 3
Issue topic Conspiracy theory
ISSN 2285 - 4916
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works