Political trust, extra-representational participation and the openness of political systems.

with Daniela Braun. International Political Science Review, 37(2) 2016, 151-16.

The relationship between trust in representative political institutions and extra-representational participation (ERP) is contested. Generally, scholars have assumed that distrust is a major source of ERP. However, empirical studies have yielded inconclusive results. This article contributes to the debate by linking it to recent studies on how contextual factors affect the amount of ERP and interact with micro-level predictors. We take an innovative stance by conceptualizing the openness of political systems in both institutional and cultural terms, and by arguing that the negative micro-level relationship between political trust and ERP should be stronger in more open political systems. With a multi-level analysis of 22 European democracies, we show that citizens who distrust representative institutions are indeed more likely to engage in ERP. Most importantly, our findings indicate that the more open a political system in cultural terms, the stronger the negative micro-level relationship between political trust and ERP.

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