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Crafting tolerance: the role of political institutions in a comparative perspective

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 April 2011

Antje Kirchner*
Affiliation:
Institute for Employment Research (IAB) of the German, Federal Employment Agency (BA), Nuremberg, Germany
Markus Freitag*
Affiliation:
Department of Politics and Management, University of Konstanz, Konstanz, Germany
Carolin Rapp*
Affiliation:
Department of Politics and Management, University of Konstanz, Konstanz, Germany

Abstract

Ongoing changes in social structures, orientation, and value systems confront us with the growing necessity to address and understand transforming patterns of tolerance as well as specific aspects, such as social tolerance. Based on hierarchical analyses of the latest World Values Survey (2005–08) and national statistics for 28 countries, we assess both individual and contextual aspects that influence an individual's perception of different social groupings. Using a social tolerance index that captures personal attitudes toward these groupings, we present an institutional theory of social tolerance. Our results show that specific institutional qualities, which reduce status anxiety, such as inclusiveness, universality, and fairness, prevail over traditional socio-economic, societal, cultural, and democratic explanations.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © European Consortium for Political Research 2011

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