Andrej Cvetic

  Wednesday, 28th February 2024

  14:00 - 15:00

   CESS Seminar Room - 3 George Street Mews

   The Effect of Electoral Support for Far-right on Institutional and Social Trust among Muslim Immigrants: Evidence from Germany


Institutional and social trust among native citizens in Western Europe is decreasing. Incoming immigrants appear to be more trustworthy towards host country institutions than the natives, while their levels of social trust depend on the social capital of their community. Current research suggests that exposure to discrimination can lead to decrease in both institutional and social trust among immigrants. Far-right parties with their xenophobic rhetoric and calls for immigration policy restrictions have brought discriminatory treatment of immigrants into mainstream of political communication. Up to date research relies on the content of discriminatory messages to study the effect of far-right political communication on immigrants. Yet, such studies do not include information about the level of support for far-right. This research studies if knowledge of levels of support for far-right impact immigrants’ social and institutional trust. With far-right AfD taking 20% of national vote share at the polls, 10% above SPD, but 10% below CDU, it is possible to frame the support for AfD as both high and low compared to these parties. Experimental design in this research should offer two framing treatments to respondents – one where support for AfD is framed as high and other where its framed as low – inserted in one of the questions. Because electoral support for far-right can signal strong support for anti-immigration agenda and hostility towards immigrants, this research tests three mediating mechanisms: perceived discrimination, perceived out-group hostility and ethnocentrism among immigrants. Experimental roll-out and data collection are planned to be done in Germany on the sample of first-generation Muslim immigrants in June 2024. Overall assumption is that exposure to information about electoral support for AfD framed as high causes sharp decrease in both social and political trust, compared to low support frame and untreated group.