Beyza Buyuker’s research focuses on the role of intergroup dynamics and specifically racial, religious and ethnic intergroup relations, in shaping majority group resistance to democratic norms and institutions in the U.S and Europe.

Her dissertation project “Democracy and the ‘Other’: Out-group Attitudes and Support for Anti-Democratic Norms and Institutions” examines how racial prejudice and xenophobia drive opposition to democratic norms and institutions among whites in the U.S. Studies of prejudice have documented that racial resentment and xenophobia are key drivers of white Americans’ political judgments. However, this research has not been extended to regime-level norms, such as political tolerance, institutional forbearance, and other principles of democracy. The political tolerance literature documents that despite high stated support for democracy, there is instability in Americans’ support for specific democratic norms, such as support for the civil liberties of disliked groups. This literature has identified various correlates of resistance to the general application of civil liberties principles but has limited engagement with the scholarship on racial prejudice. This study bridges the gap between the two theories by explaining why we should expect a relationship between outgroup prejudice and waning support for democratic norms. She explores these relationships via several priming experiments as well as multivariate analyses of four nationally representative datasets including the ANES and the GSS. Through these analyses, she demonstrates a causal relationship between racial resentment and xenophobia and white Americans’ rejection of democratic norms and institutions. She shows that the observed erosion in support for democratic norms and institutions in the U.S. stems in great part from intergroup dynamics.

Other projects

• Negative Outgroup Attitudes and Opposition to Democratic Institutions in Turkey

• Meanings of Democracy and Opposition to Democratic Institutions in the US and Europe (with Milena Ang and Alexandra Filindra)

• Democracy for us, but not for them: How national understandings of the demos undermine support for democracy (with Eva Green, Anita Manatschal, and Alexandra Filindra)

• Immigrant Threat and Trust in Government in the US, Switzerland, and Turkey (with Eva Green, Anita Manatschal, and Alexandra Filindra)

• Racial Attitudes and Trust in Government (with Noah Kaplan and Alexandra Filindra)

• Racialization of the Education Policy Attitudes in the US (with Andrea Manning and Alexandra Filindra)