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World Politics

Vol. 65, No. 1

January 2013

The Geographic Context of Political Attitudes among Migrant-Origin Individuals in Europe

By Rahsaan Maxwell

This article examines political trust and government satisfaction among migrant-origin individuals in Europe. While much of the current literature on migrant political attitudes focuses on the positive or negative ramifications of individual-level integration outcomes, the author takes a different approach. He claims that the best way to understand political trust and government satisfaction among migrant-origin individuals is through the strong positive correlation with trust and satisfaction among native-origin individuals in the same subnational region. One implication of this argument is that migrant-origin individuals’ trust and satisfaction are closer to native-origin individuals living in the same subnational region than to migrants living elsewhere in Europe. The research provides a new perspective for understanding the broad contours of migrant integration and shifts the debate away from whether or not migrants have positive attitudes about European society. The fact that migrant- and native-origin individuals have similar levels of trust and satisfaction is suggestive of successful attitudinal integration, irrespective of whether those attitudes are positive or negative.

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