Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Institute for Futures Studies

No 2011:10: Utopia becoming dystopia? Analyzing political trust among immigrants in Sweden

Per Adman () and Per Strömblad ()
Additional contact information
Per Adman: Department of Government, Uppsala University, Postal: Institute for Futures Studies, Box 591, SE-101 31 Stockholm, Sweden
Per Strömblad: Institute for Futures Studies, Postal: Institute for Futures Studies, Box 591, SE-101 31 Stockholm, Sweden

Abstract: This paper aims to increase our knowledge on the political trust of immigrants’ in established democracies. Utilising Swedish survey data, based on a large oversample of respondents with a foreign background, we show that immigrants from countries more plagued by corruption place significantly higher trust in political institutions in Sweden in comparison with both immigrants from more auspicious institutional settings and with the native population. However, we also find that an initially bright view of the Swedish institutional qualities tend to attenuate over time, as immigrants from countries of high corruption develop more critical viewpoints. In con-trast to reasonable expectations, we nonetheless find that this decrease in trust is not explained by experiences of discrimination. Overall, the hypotheses elaborated and tested in this paper may be regarded as a more general contribution to a theory on how political trust is related to experiences and expectations of political institutions.

Keywords: political trust of immigrants’; Swedish survey data; experiences and expectations of political institutions

JEL-codes: C42

28 pages, December 19, 2011

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