System justification in France: liberté, égalité, fraternité

Melanie Langer, Pavlos Vasilopoulos, Haley McAvay, John T. Jost

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Because of the legacy of the French Revolution and the post-World War II consensus on providing social welfare, France provides an intriguing context in which to investigate political ideology and system justification. We summarize the results of a large, nationally representative survey of French voters, which revealed that general system justification was associated—not with rightist ideology, as in other countries—but with leftist ideology. That is, self-identified leftists scored higher than rightists on general system justification, and system justification was positively associated with liberal and leftist preferences concerning immigration and welfare. After adjusting for political orientation, high system-justifiers in France also scored lower on authoritarianism, despite scoring higher on group-based dominance. These findings suggest that the Enlightenment ideals of “Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité” are firmly established in France, and that liberal-leftist policies represent the status quo for most French citizens today.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)185-191
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Opinion in Behavioral Sciences
StatePublished - Aug 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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