What's Trust Got To Do With It? : The Effects of In-Group and Out-Group Trust on Conventional and Unconventional Political Participation
Summary, in English
This article explores whether there is a systematic variation in conventional and unconventional political participation as a function of in-group versus out-group trust. We postulate that the narrower the moral community is, the more political participation is restricted to conventional activity that is perceived as an obligation, as a political act to be fulfilled, something akin to citizenship duty. However, individuals with high levels of out-group trust—trust in people who are different or unknown—are more likely to participate in unconventional political activities that are public in nature and transcend concepts of duty, citizenship, or nation.
To obtain measures of in-group and out-group trust, we rely on various items in the fifth wave of the World Values Survey. Applying confirmatory factor analysis yields two separate forms of trust, which become our central predictor variables in addition to other, theoretically-derived independent variables. We employ logistic regression with country cluster robust standard errors.
Results and Conclusion
The results support our central assertions, even when controlling for the standard measure of generalized trust and a number of other factors. Individuals with higher in-group trust report having voted at higher levels than individuals with lower in-group trust. Individuals with higher levels of out-group trust, however, participate more actively in nonconventional political activity. Surprisingly, the presence of out-group trust has a slightly negative impact on voting. Our findings further emphasize the importance of differentiating between types of interpersonal trust, and answer recent calls for empirical research on the impact of forms of trust on political behavior.
- Political Science
- ISSN: 1540-6237