Generalized Trust Through Civic Engagement? Evidence from Five National Panel Studies

17.09.2013 - 17:15
A 5,6 Raum A 231
Art der Veranstaltung: 
AB A-Kolloquium
Prof. Dr. René Bekkers
Zugehörigkeit des Vortragenden: 
VU University Amsterdam
René Bekkers with Erik van Ingen (Tilburg University):
According to a popular version of social capital theory, civic engagement should produce generalized trust among citizens. We put this theory to the test by examining the causal connection between civic engagement and generalized trust using multiple methods and multiple (prospective) panel datasets. We found participants to be more trusting. This was most likely caused by selection effects: the causal effects of civic engagement on trust were very small or non-significant. In the cases where small causal effects were found, they turned out not to last.
We found no differences across types of organizations and only minor variations across countries.