Ethnicity and confidence in government: the case of Turkish-minority relations


Political Science and International Affairs

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School of Conflict Management, Peacebuilding and Development

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Existing research on the relationship between political trust and political participation has generated mixed results. In pursuit of a better explanation of this relationship, we argue that trust in institutions has varying effects on participation for minority and majority groups. In this paper, we analyze Turkish and minority attitudes toward Turkish institutions. We find strong support that trust in institutions affects majority and minority political participation differently. These results highlight the divergent processes at work in the relationships between political trust and political participation across majority and minority citizens in Turkey due to their varied experiences with these institutions. Some of our most interesting findings show that minorities, unlike citizens from the majority group who have higher trust in police, are more likely to protest, and minorities with trust in political parties are actually less likely to join these parties. We explain these surprising findings within the context of Turkey’s post-armed conflict political context.

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Turkish Studies

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