English title: Immigrants, Trust, and Political Institutions: The Case of European Muslims. Doctoral thesis

Author(s): Marta Joanna Kolczynska -

Language: English

Type: Thesis / dissertation

Year: 2014


Given the constant increase in the share of Europe’s population made up of individuals with immigrant origin, understanding political engagement and attitudes among the migrant population becomes crucial for the stability of European regimes. This paper integrates theories of political participation with literature on immigrant incorporation to examine factors that shape trust in institutions among immigrants in Western Europe. Results of analyses using cross-national survey data from the European Social Survey and country-level indicators of quality of governance show that among immigrants trust in institutions is positively associated with the difference in quality of governance between the residence country and the country of origin, but the magnitude of these effects varies between the foreign-born and second generation migrants. Additionally, controlling for quality of governance, having former colony origin has a negative effect on trust. Surprisingly, adherence to Islam has a positive effect of political trust above and beyond other individual- or country-level factors. This striking finding may be partially due to selection dynamics, which could operate differently for migrants from different religious-cultural backgrounds. By improving the understanding of factors shaping levels of political trust, this research has practical implications for immigration and diversity-management policies in Western Europe.


Awarding institution: The Ohio State University

Number of pages: 60

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