Intolerance, Prejudice and Discrimination - A European Report

An analysis of anti-democratic mentalities in eight European countries prepared by Prof. Dr. Andreas Zick, Dr. Beate Küpper and Andreas Hövermann for the Friedrich Ebert Foundation’s Project on Combating Right-wing Extremism (Forum Berlin).

Context and objectives

  •  A diverse, tolerant and multicultural Europe committed to human rights is not only essential for the protection of minorities. These features represent the very foundation of social cohesion and robust democracy. Intolerance, prejudice and discrimination are dangers to the cohesion of plural societies and thus to democracy itself. They indicate the extent to which the majority is willing to accept and include social, ethnic, cultural and religious minorities and supposed “others” as equal members of society – or exclude them. Intolerance, prejudice, anti-democratic attitudes and the willingness to discriminate against others are sensitive indicators of social cohesion.
  • With this new publication we are seeking to join the debate provoked by the increasing success of right-wing populist and extremist forces in Europe and inject constructive proposals for encouraging democracy and solidarity. The study’s comprehensive comparative data on prejudices against different target groups (group-focused enmity) in eight European countries supplies an empirical basis for discussion and dependable input for the social policy debate.
  • Six dimensions of the group-focused enmity (GFE) syndrome were investigated, focusing on extent, determinants and causes. Concrete analysis was conducted on negative attitudes and prejudices against groups defined as “other”, “foreign” or “abnormal” and assigned an inferior social status. The prejudices selected for investigation were: anti-immigrant attitudes, racism, anti-Semitism, anti-Muslim attitudes, sexism and homophobia.


 To the study (pdf-version)


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