The turning point of tolerance: Ethnic attitudes in a global perspective
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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OriginalversjonInternational Journal on Minority and Group Rights. 2016, 23 (1), 80-104. 10.1163/15718115-02301001
Is diversity associated with ethnic aversion? To address this issue we employ a theoretical perspective to explain global patterns in individual ethnic attitudes. We suggest that there is a turning point of tolerance, and this could be why earlier studies differ in their conclusions. In short, we argue that up until a certain point more intergroup contact will lead to increased tolerance. However, when this threshold is reached, any further diversity will lead to less tolerance. This study applies data from all five waves of the World Values Survey, combined with the updated ethnolinguistical fractionalisation index and relevant controls. Our models reveal a threshold effect in non-Western societies, and that ethnically polarised societies are most tolerant. This finding supports the argument that conflicts taking place along ethnic lines are not caused primarily by ethnic hatred, indicating that ethnicity might be used as an instrument to create violent conflict.