Morten Pettersson


Morten Pettersson
Se relationer på Aarhus Universitet


I am a ph.d.-student at in Political Science at Aarhus University. My main interests are in political communication, political psychology and public opinion

My dissertation studies the influence of identity appeals from political elites on citizens' attitudes towards political issues. Politicians often appeal to citizens' identities such as parental roles, ethnicity, social class or religious belonging by emphasizing concerns of well-defined groups in public debates. In the 2012 presidential election, for example, President Obama heavily appealed to Hispanics and African Americans, while the Republican presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, targeted a stronger middle class. 

While identity appeals are prominent in electoral campaigns and policy debates, research on the consequences of identity appeals from political elites are scarce. I attempt to fill this gap by examining the effects of identity appeals from political elites, the mechanisms through which they influence citizens’ opinions and what constitutes a strong/weak identity appeal.

The research question of the dissertation is:

How and under what conditions do identity appeals from political elites influence citizens’ attitudes towards specific political issues?


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