English title: Ethnic Diversity, Economic and Cultural Contexts, and Social Trust: Cross-Sectional and Longitudinal Evidence from European Regions, 2002-2010

Author(s): Conrad Ziller -

Language: English

Type: Journal article

Year: 2014

Abstract

Agrowing literature investigates the relationship between ethnic diversity and social trust. Comparative research in the European context employing country-level indicators has predominantly produced inconclusive results. This study examines the relationship between immigration-related diversity and social trust at the sub-national level of European regions. The regional perspective allows the capture of relevant variations in ethnic context while it still generates comparable results for a broader European context. Using survey data from the European Social Survey 2002–2010 merged with immigration figures from the European Labour Force Survey, this study builds upon previous research by testing the relationships between various diversity indicators and social trust in cross-sectional and longitudinal perspective. In addition, it investigates the role of economic and cultural contexts as moderators. The results show that across European regions, different aspects of immigration-related diversity are negatively related to social trust. In longitudinal perspective, an increase in immigration is related to a decrease in social trust. Tests of the conditional hypotheses reveal that regional economic growth and ethnic polarization as a cultural context moderate the relationship. Immigration growth is particularly strongly associated with a decrease in social trust in contexts of economic decline and high ethnic polarization. However, there is some evidence that in contexts of low polarization the relationship is actually positive.

Volume: 93

Issue: 3

From page no: 1211

To page no: 1240

Refereed: Yes

DOI: 10.1093/SF/SOU088

Journal: Social Forces