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Procedural fairness and political trust among young people: evidence from a panel study on Swedish high school students
Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4294-2042
Department of Government, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.
Centre for Baltic and East European Studies (CBEES), Södertörn University, Huddinge, Sweden.
2015 (English)In: Acta Politica, ISSN 0001-6810, E-ISSN 1741-1416, Vol. 50, no 3, p. 253-278Article in journal (Other academic) Published
Abstract [en]

The role of ‘fair’ institutions in developing democratic legitimacy has received increased attention. Citizens who perceive – on basis of past experiences – that they are being treated fairly by authorities have been held to have greater trust in political institutions. However, previous studies on the relationship between procedural fairness and political trust have not paid sufficient attention to individuals with limited first-hand experiences of authorities. We examine the relationship on an authority that virtually all individuals meet early in life: the school. Using structural equation modeling on unique panel data covering 1,500 Swedish adolescents (ages ranging from 13 to 17), we find a reciprocal relationship: personal encounters with school authorities shape young people’s political trust; however, the images that adolescents get of the political system (through family, peers, media, etc.) have also consequences on their perceptions about the authorities they encounter in their daily lives. The analysis increases our understanding of how individuals form their political allegiances by showing that the relationship between fairness and trust is more dynamic than has previously been suggested: neither an accumulated set of experiences of authorities nor formal ties with political institutions (as voters, etc.) are required for a relationship to emerge. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Palgrave Macmillan Ltd. , 2015. Vol. 50, no 3, p. 253-278
Keywords [en]
Procedural fairness, political trust, reciprocal, school, adolescents, Sweden, structural equation modeling
National Category
Political Science
Research subject
Political Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-35331DOI: 10.1057/ap.2014.22ISI: 000359176500001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-35331DiVA, id: diva2:723852
Note

This study was made possible by access to data from the Political Socialization Program, a longitudinal research program at YeS (Youth & Society) at Örebro University, Sweden. Responsible for the planning, implementation, and financing of the collection of data in this project were Professors Erik Amnå, Mats Ekström, Margaret Kerr, and Håkan Stattin. The data collection was supported by grants from the Bank of Sweden Tercentenary Foundation. Moreover, the participation of Pär Zetterberg in the writing of this study was made possible by a grant from the Swedish Research Council.

Available from: 2014-06-11 Created: 2014-06-11 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Transcending dichotomies: The many faces of youth dissatisfaction in democracy
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Transcending dichotomies: The many faces of youth dissatisfaction in democracy
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In the recent scholarly debates over changing citizenship attitudes and norms in advanced democracies, especially when it comes to rising levels of political dissatisfaction, opinion about the political role of young people is divided. For some scholars, they represent a driving force behind the development of new kinds of citizenship values, and constitute an asset to the functioning of political systems. For others, they pose a potential threat to the health of representative democracy, because of their increasing levels of dissatisfaction and civic disengagement. By contrast with these two competing approaches, this dissertation advances the argument that a more balanced view of young people’s political activities is called for. Adopting a quantitative approach, it aims therefore to contribute to better theoretical and empirical understanding of young people’s political dissatisfaction, and to explain their role in a democratic society. Considering different aspects of dissatisfaction, the current dissertation contributes to previous research in significant ways. Among others things, it adds to our knowledge by showing empirically that, in terms of political dissatisfaction, young people constitute a heterogeneous group, with different political roles and profiles, ranging from the healthy to the more threatening. Moreover, it contributes to previous research by highlighting the crucial role played by fair teachers in providing linkages between young citizens and the wider political system. All in all, the findings in the current dissertation have implications for the ongoing debate over the role and significance of young people in the functioning of democratic systems, and also for political socialization research.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Örebro: Örebro university, 2014. p. 98
Series
Örebro Studies in Political Science, ISSN 1650-1632 ; 35
Keywords
political dissatisfaction, adolescents, critical citizens, procedural fairness, political attitudes
National Category
Political Science
Research subject
Political Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-34732 (URN)978-91-7529-022-5 (ISBN)
Public defence
2014-06-05, Prismahuset, Hörsal 2, Örebro universitet, Fakultetsgatan 1, Örebro, 10:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2014-04-15 Created: 2014-04-15 Last updated: 2017-10-17Bibliographically approved

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Abdelzadeh, AliEkman, Joakim

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