1. bookVolume 15 (2022): Issue 1 (June 2022)
Journal Details
First Published
03 Aug 2009
Publication timeframe
2 times per year
access type Open Access

The Effect of Academic Discipline on Policy Attitudes: The Case of Czech University Students

Published Online: 14 Jun 2022
Volume & Issue: Volume 15 (2022) - Issue 1 (June 2022)
Page range: 223 - 249
Journal Details
First Published
03 Aug 2009
Publication timeframe
2 times per year

While the effect of academic discipline on political attitudes has long been acknowledged, much less is known on how disciplinary background affects policy attitudes. Linder and Peters (1992) argued that attitudes to policy instruments correspond with discipline: lawyers are assumed to tend to be partial to legalistic regulatory instruments, economists to favor economic tools such as loans or taxation. Nevertheless, relevant empirical evidence is almost non-existent. The paper attempts to bridge this gap by comparing policy instruments attitudes in different academic disciplines on a sample of Czech university students (N = 8820). We inquire whether students in different academic fields (with special emphasis on economics, law, education, political science, and mass media/journalism) differ in their political and policy views. In line with previous research, students pursuing economics and law (as well as education) are found to be more right-wing oriented than students of political science and mass media. Students also differ in terms of their overall acceptance of policy instruments, with those of political science being the most accepting of all types of instruments. However, we find little support for the correspondence thesis proposed by Linder and Peters.


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