Most studies on ethnic diversity and social trust rely on the standard measure of generalized trust. This study complements existing work on this topic by examining the effect of diversity on trust toward outgroups. This innovation is motivated by two closely connected arguments: At first, most existent studies are conducted in the framework of intergroup contact and conflict theory. These theories directly allude to trust toward outgroups. Second, recent empirical studies show that the standard measure of generalized trust is much less generalized than theoretically assumed. Instead it is blurred by a great deal of particularized trust. Explicit outgroup trust therefore seems to be better suited to empirically testing the extent to which growing ethnic diversity influences trust toward people different from oneself. The cross-national analysis yields a positive relationship between diversity and outgroup trust, which is an interesting finding given the current debate dominated by conflict theoretical reasoning.
Political Behavior – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 31, 2013
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