Environmentalism, right-wing extremism, and social justice beliefs among East German adolescents

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study uses a representative population (N=3331) of East German mainstream adolescents to examine how the competing worldviews of environmentalism and right-wing extremism differently structure social justice beliefs. Integrating three theoretical considerations (object of worry, scope of justice, and underlying values) it suggests that these two worldviews have implicit assumptions that associate them in subtler ways with some specific conceptions of justice. The environmentalist worldview was found to be associated with egalitarianism, which may be explained by environmentalism's concern with societal and global problems, its broad inclusionary scope of justice, and the self-transcendent values it advocates. In contrast, right-wing extremism was found to be associated with anti-egalitarianism, which can be attributed to its concern with the welfare of the in-group, its relative narrow exclusionary scope of justice, and its self-interest values of competition and individualism. After controlling for the possible effects of gender and socioeconomic status, these claims were mostly supported by hierarchical regression empirical analyses. Moreover, findings showed that endorsement of the environmentalist stance is more common than endorsement of the right-wing extremist stance. Finally, females tend to endorse the environmentalist stance and prefer egalitarianism, while males tend to endorse the right-wing extremist stance and prefer the equity principle. Further internal and external validation of the constructs by means of the examination of their nomological network is recommended. Moreover, results of this study are discussed in light of globalization processes and recent developments regarding a "third position," according to which pro-environmental and right-wing extremist views are intermingled, i.e., right-wing extremist groups can advocate a pro-environmental view just as pro-environmental groups can adopt a right-wing extremist position.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)118-131
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • General Psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'Environmentalism, right-wing extremism, and social justice beliefs among East German adolescents'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this