Political Distrust in Europe: The Impact of Immigration and the Global Economic Crisis

Number: 102
Year: 2017
Author(s): Anne-Marie Jeannet
Political disaffection has intensified in democratic societies and European countries have witnessed a slow but steady decline of political trust over the past decades. We argue that this is due to, in part, to sustained immigration and was exacerbated by the onset of the global financial crisis. To test this, we employ a multi-level research design using micro attitudinal data from 17 European countries (2002-14). Our findings show a strong connection between immigration to Europe and the growing distrust that European citizens have for their country’s political institutions. This study provides new insight into how trends in immigration and the economic conditions of the last decade have reshaped the relationship between citizens and politics in Europe. Finally, the future implications for sociological theorizing around political trust is discussed.

Anne-Marie Jeannet Bocconi University

Language: English

The paper may be downloaded here.