This paper examines how political regimes in migrants’ origin countries influence their party identification in adopted homeland. I posit that immigrants are more likely to acquire partisanship in their host country if they came from a non-party autocracy as opposed to a party-based autocracy or democracy. Moreover, among partisans, immigrants are less likely to identify with a left-wing party if they came from a communist regime. Finally, these effects are particularly pronounced among foreign-born individuals from highly authoritarian regimes. The analyses using Geddes, Wright, and Franz (2014) Autocratic Regimes data along with individual-level data from the European Social Survey (ESS) 2002-2017 in 19 established democracies confirm these expectations. These findings have important implications for debates on immigrant political integration, party politics, and the prospects of electoral stability in contemporary democracies.
The paper posits that individual religious engagement reduces people’s motivations to hold governments accountable for their performance while in office. This expectation is based on previous research which shows that religion is closely linked with believing that the world is just, a place where people generally get what they deserve and deserve what they get. Using data from the European Social Survey 2012-13 in seventeen established democracies, the study shows that individual religious engagement – in a form of religiosity and attendance of religious services – is indeed negatively associated with believing that governing parties should be punished in elections for poor performance. Moreover, while strong believers are more satisfied with government than non-believers, religious engagement weakens the relationship between people’s economic evaluations and government satisfaction. These findings have important implications for debates on democratic accountability, reward-punishment models of electoral politics, and the prospects of democratic legitimacy in states with considerable shares of religious individuals.
Whether as a consequence of colonialism or more recent international migration, ethnic diversity has become a prominent feature of many contemporary democracies. Given the importance of ethnicity in structuring people’s identities, scholars have sought to incorporate ethnicity in their models of people’s political behavior. Studies focusing on individual support for group interests among ethnic minority members find that higher socio-economic status generally leads to a reduced emphasis on ethnicity in forming individual political opinions. However, this relationship is often considerably weaker among ethnic minorities with frequent experiences of discrimination, pessimistic assessments of equal opportunities in a country, and social pressures from group members to comply with group norms. Research also shows that, in comparison to majority populations, members of ethnic minorities are generally less active in politics, more likely to use contentious forms of political action, and support left-wing political parties that promote minority interests. Key explanations of differences between ethnic minorities and majorities in western democracies focus on the importance of individual and group resources as well as political empowerment via representation in policy making institutions, usually enabled by higher shares of minority populations within electoral districts.
This paper examines the consequences of the far-right in shaping foreign-born immigrants’ satisfaction with the way democracy works in their host countries. It posits that while electorally successful far-right parties undermine democracy satisfaction, the magnitude of this effect is not uniform across all first-generation immigrants. Instead, it depends on newcomers’ citizenship status in their adopted homeland. The analyses using individual-level data collected as part of the five-round European Social Survey (ESS) 2002-2012 in sixteen West European democracies reveal that the electoral strength of far-right parties in a form of vote and seat shares won in national elections is indeed powerfully linked to democracy satisfaction among foreign-born individuals. However, this relationship is limited to foreign-born non-citizens, as we have no evidence that far-right parties influence democracy attitudes among foreign-born individuals who have acquired citizenship in their adopted homeland.
This article develops a model of immigrants’ attitudes towards immigration. We focus on two competing motivations to explain these attitudes: while kinship, solidarity, and shared experiences with other immigrants should lead to more favorable attitudes towards immigration, formal integration into a new society may create a new allegiance to the host country that produces more critical views toward immigration. Using the European Social Survey (ESS) 1–5 data collected 2002–11 in 18 West European democracies, coarsened exact matching (CEM), and multilevel estimation techniques, our analyses reveal that foreigners support immigration more than natives. However, newcomers who have acquired citizenship in their host countries are more skeptical about the consequences of immigration and admitting new arrivals than noncitizen immigrants. This negative relationship between citizenship and support for immigration is particularly pronounced among those who are dissatisfied with their host country’s macroeconomy.
The issues of migration and immigrant political integration in western democracies have become increasingly intertwined with debates on religion, particularly Islam. To date, however, we have surprisingly little systematic research on how religious beliefs are related to immigrants’ political engagement. In this study, we argue that religion has a capacity to mobilize immigrants politically but the strength of this relationship depends on immigrant generation, religiosity, and the type of religion. Using survey data collected as part of the European Social Survey (ESS) 2002–2010 in 18 West European democracies, our analyses reveal that religion is indeed linked to political engagement of immigrants in a complex way: while belonging to a religion is generally associated with less political participation, exposure to religious institutions appears to have the opposite effect. Moreover, we find that, compared to foreign-born Muslims, second-generation Muslim immigrants are not only more religious and more politically dissatisfied with their host countries, but also that religiosity is more strongly linked to their political engagement. This relationship, however, is limited to uninstitutionalized political action.
We develop a model of immigrant political action that connects individual motivations to become politically involved with the context in which participation takes place. The article posits that opinion climates in the form of hostility or openness toward immigrants shape the opportunity structure for immigrant political engagement by contributing to the social costs and political benefits of participation. We argue that friendly opinion climates toward immigrants enable political action among immigrants, and facilitate the politicization of political discontent. Using survey data from the European Social Survey (ESS) 2002 to 2010 in 25 European democracies, our analyses reveal that more positive opinion climates—at the level of countries and regions—increase immigrant political engagement, especially among immigrants dissatisfied with the political system. However, this effect is limited to uninstitutionalized political action, as opinion climates have no observable impact on participation in institutionalized politics.
We investigate the partisan foundations of political legitimacy. We argue that the goals parties pursue shape their supporters’ views about the political system via the messages they communicate about the desirability of the political system. Combining public opinion survey data collected in 15 democracies with data on the goal orientations and policy positions of 116 political parties, we find that office-seeking parties take more positive positions toward the status quo of the political regime than policy-seeking parties. Moreover, we find that these positions have consequences. Specifically, supporters of parties with more positive positions toward the system report systematically higher levels of support than supporters of parties that communicate more negative views. Taken together, these findings suggest that political parties play an active role in shaping citizens’ views of the political system and that office-seeking parties in particular mobilize consent among citizens in contemporary democracies.
Little is known about how immigrants participate in politics and whether they transform political engagement in contemporary democracies. This study investigates whether citizenship (as opposed to being foreign-born) affects political and civic engagement beyond the voting booth. It is argued that citizenship should be understood as a resource that enhances participation and helps immigrants overcome socialization experiences that are inauspicious for political engagement. The analysis of the European Social Survey data collected in nineteen European democracies in 2002–03 reveals that citizenship has a positive impact on political participation. Moreover, citizenship is a particularly powerful determinant of un-institutionalized political action among individuals who were socialized in less democratic countries. These findings have important implications for debates over the definition of and access to citizenship in contemporary democracies.
In this paper we argue that parties shape their supporters’ views about the political system via the messages they communicate about the desirability of the political system. Moreover, we contend that the effectiveness of such communication varies considerably across generations. Combining data from election surveys collected in 15 democracies as part of the Comparative Study of Electoral Systems (CSES) project with data on the policy positions of 116 political parties collected by the Comparative Manifestos Project, we find that supporters of parties that express positive positions toward the political system report systematically higher levels of political legitimacy than supporters of parties that communicate negative views. Moreover, this communication is particularly effective among older party identifiers whose partisan identification tends to be more pronounced. Taken together, these findings suggest that political parties play an active role in shaping citizens’ views of the political system but their success in mobilizing consent among citizens in contemporary democracies may weaken with partisan de-alignment and generational change.
While social revolutions have been the focus of considerable scholarly attention over the past quarter century, little effort has been made to consider the prospects for revolution in the industrialized West. This odd fact exists in spite of Goldstone's claim that the present-day United States exhibits some of the factors consistent with historical causes of revolution, and that we "ignore the past at our own peril" (1991: 497). Drawing on a wide range of scholarly perspectives, this study is designed to show that while the theoretical potential for revolutionary movements does exist in the industrialized West, it has been effectively disabled by the lack of political alternatives to the status quo and the difficulties in mobilizing contemporary societies. Our analysis suggests, however, that given recent changes in the patterns of social and economic dislocations as well as deepening ethnic, racial, and religious cleavages around the world, there is no reason to assume that Western democracies will remain immune to revolutionary changes.
While the positive consequences of social capital and civil society are widely accepted and appreciated, the question of how they originate and can be sustained has received relatively little attention from scholars. In this study, we approach this question from a cross-national and individual-level perspective by examining how population heterogeneity in the form of ethnic and linguistic diversity affects citizenship behavior, measured by cognitive and interpersonal engagement about politics, membership in voluntary associations, and interpersonal trust. Based on data collected in 44 countries, our analyses show that heterogeneity does affect the quality of civil society in a country. However, indicators of population heterogeneity do not have uniformly positive or negative effects on individual-level measures of civil society—while they reduce some, they shore up others.
Using cross-national survey data and information on government practices concerning human rights collected in 17 post-Communist states in Central and Eastern Europe, the authors examine the determinants of people’s attitudes about their country’s human rights situation. They find that not all people in countries that systematically violate human rights develop more negative opinions about their country’s human rights situation. However, results show high levels of disregard for human rights strongly affect evaluations of human rights practices among individuals with higher levels of education. Thus better educated respondents were significantly more likely to say there was respect for human rights in their country if they lived in a country with fewer violations of the integrity of the person or that protected political and civil rights; conversely, they were less likely to say so if they lived in a more repressive country or a country where political and civil rights were frequently violated.
The article examines the relationship between women in society and the use of force by the state in the international arena. The arguments build on a conception of power relationships found in gender studies and feminist theories, and focus on how the internal distribution of political power at a societal level (as opposed to a state level) will influence the willingness of the ruling elite to engage in militarized interstate disputes and war. That is, the article explores the extent to which fertility rates directly and indirectly - through women's employment and political office - are associated with the use of force by a state. The authors draw on public opinion literature, which shows that women's attitudes toward the use of force differ from those of men, to argue that the more women have access to the political process the more constrained will be the state in its use of force. The results of the analysis demonstrate that at the dyadic level, contiguous pairs of countries with low birthrates are less likely to go to war, while, more generally, the lower the birthrates the less likely is a country to become engaged in the more violent of militarized disputes. Our results suggest that policies to promote family planning might be one effective form of managing the amount of interstate violence.