When politicians use hate speech, it’s not just empty rhetoric or political theater – it breeds polarization, which makes domestic terrorism more likely. That’s the finding from Penn State political science professor James Piazza’s analysis of 17 years of recent history in about 150 countries.

He explains how and why it happens – around the world and in the U.S. – in a piece that also highlights how much more domestic terrorism there is in the U.S. now than just a few years ago.

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Jeff Inglis

Politics + Society Editor

Both Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and U.S. President Donald Trump have been accused of using hate speech. AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi

When politicians use hate speech, political violence increases

James Piazza, Pennsylvania State University

My research shows that when politicians use hate speech, it's not just empty rhetoric or political theater: Domestic terrorism increases, in the US and in other countries.

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