Institutional Persuasion to Support Minority Rights in Russia
Public support for minority rights plays an important role in minorities actually securing and protecting those rights. In countries where public support for minority rights is low, how can attitudes be changed? Using data from two surveys of more than 6,000 Russians each, we show that institutions have the potential to persuade about a quarter of otherwise intolerant Russians to move toward supporting rights. We seek to explain this important shift among this subpopulation. Paradoxically, we find that a usually unpalatable characteristic, deference to authority, among the intolerant is significantly related to their potential to be persuaded to support rights.