Interest groups and campaigns intent on spurring political participation often focus on highlighting potential threats in order to engage their audiences. However, while the use of threat is largely necessary, it may not be a sufficient condition to encourage one’s political activism. By drawing on the highly contentious domain of immigration politics and activism pursued by Latinx communities, this study re-assesses the threat hypothesis, offering both theoretical and empirical advancements to our understanding of the cognitive and emotional appraisal processes behind one’s issue activism. Based on two original online survey experiments of Latinx adults in the United States (n=1,001; n=1,020), the results demonstrate a mobilizing message combining elements of threat and opportunity is a significant catalyst of various forms of political participation. The role of threat is complex and is not the only way to stir the masses into action.
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