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Migrating trust: contextual determinants of international migrants’ confidence in political institutions

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 December 2015

Bogdan Voicu*
Romanian Academy, Research Institute for Quality of Life, Bucharest, Romania Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu, Department of Sociology, Sibiu, Romania
Claudiu D. Tufiş
University of Bucharest, Department of Political Science, Bucharest, Romania


This paper considers the case of the international migrants’ confidence in political institutions, from a social embeddedness perspective on political trust. We use country-level aggregates of confidence in institutions as indicators of specific cultures of trust, and by employing data from the European Values Study, we test two competing hypotheses. First, as confidence in institutions depends on the values formed during early childhood, the international migrant’s confidence in political institutions in the current country of residency will be influenced by the confidence context from the country of origin. Second, the host country may have different norms of trust in political institutions, and a process of re-socialization may occur. Therefore, the immigrants’ confidence in institutions is influenced by two confidence contexts: one from the origin country and one from the host country. The time spent in the two cultures, along with other characteristics from these contexts, shape the interaction effects we tested in multilevel cross-classified models.

Research Article
© European Consortium for Political Research 2015 

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