Collective narcissism and Russian invasion on Ukraine
Agnieszka Golec de Zavala
The 1 year anniversary of Russian invasion in Ukraine is approaching. While narcissism of Vladimir Putin has been blamed (Brooks, 2022), it is more accurate to look for explanation of hate that moves societies to a war in collective narcissism of the followers rather than individual follower of the leaders (Golec de Zavala, 2022).
Empirical findings strongly suggest that national collective narcissists support anti-democratic leaders who use aggression to assert their power even if this harms the ingroup members, destabilizes societies and the established status quo (Keenan & Golec de Zavala, 2021). For example, national collective narcissism in 40 countries was associated with support for economic ties with Vladimir Putin’s Russia before Russian invasion on Ukraine on February, 24th, 2022 but after the Russian annexation Crimea in 2014. Studies conducted in France and the United States after the Russian invasion on Ukraine showed that, national collective narcissism in both countries was associated with moral justification of the invasion. Moreover, this association persisted when participants were asked whether they would legitimize Russia invading their own country (Brown & Marinthe, 2022).
In line with those findings, the Figure below shows the predictors of the opinion that Russian invasion was provoked by Ukraine and its efforts to become linked to NATO. The data were collected on the Polish nationally representative sample of 1011 online participants in October 2022 after over 1.7 million Ukrainian refugees has settled in Poland after Putin’s Russia invaded Ukraine on 24th of February, 2022. National collective narcissism predicts shifting the blame for the invasion to Ukraine independently of right-wing authoritarianism and social dominance orientation that were two other significant predictors. In contrast, Polish national ingroup satisfaction predicted refusal to blame Ukraine for the invasion. It also predicted feeling proud for Polish support for Ukraine and Ukrainian refugees.
Brooks, D. (2022) New York Times, 2022 https://www.nytimes.com/2022/03/10/opinion/putin-ukraine-russia-identity.html Downloaded 12/10/2022
Golec de Zavala, A. (2021). Narcissism and hatred of groups. Almanac Concilium Civitas. http://conciliumcivitas.pl/almanach-concilium-civitas-2020-2021-spis-tresci/
Brown, G., & Marinthe, G. (2022, October 14). We’re all the Same: Collective Narcissists’s Cross-National Support for Putin and Russian Military Attacks. https://doi.org/10.31234/osf.io/gqsrz
Keenan, O. & Golec de Zavala, A. (2021). Collective Narcissism and Weakening of American Democracy. Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy, https://doi.org/10.31219/osf.io/938vy