Dienstag, 9. Juli 2019

Political Activism in Authoritarian Regimes: Does Trust Matter? Evidence from the MENA

APIR seminar with Nadine Sika (American University, Cairo)

Discussant: tba

We cordially invite you to the next session of our workshop series on Authoritarian Politics and International Relations at WZB! 

Nadine Sika will talk about "Political Activism in Authoritarian Regimes: Does Trust Matter? Evidence from the MENA". Scholars have hinted at the fading trust between citizens and their regimes, however, no systematic study has been conducted to understand the relation between political trust, and contention in authoritarian regimes. Do citizens’ trust in an authoritarian regime impact their mode of political participation? Are low trust levels linked to unconventional participation? If conventional participation and trust are related and add legitimacy and stability to an existing authoritarian regime, is there an opposite relationship between trust and unconventional participation?

Data gathered from random sample surveys that were carried out in 2015-2016 in Turkey, Tunisia, Morocco and the Occupied Palestinian Territories are utilized to find evidence for this inquiry. By examining the relation between trust and unconventional participation in four authoritarian regimes in the MENA, this study adds to the ongoing debates on trust and participation in authoritarian regimes.  The survey data shows that there is no linear correlation between low trust levels and unconventional participation in authoritarian regimes.  It demonstrates that low trust levels in certain political institutions can motivate unconventional activism, however, trust levels alone are no indicators for unconventional participation.  The most significant finding of this study is that trust and unconventional participation are most related in regimes that are undergoing political change, mainly Turkey and Tunisia.  In these cases, political activists tend to have different trust levels than the rest of the population.  Where trust levels are high amongst the general population, like in the police force for instance, political activists tend to have negative correlations.  On the other hand, where trust levels are low amongst the general population, like in political parties and parliaments, political activists tend to have positive correlations.

We are happy to relay upon request the paper on which Nadine's talk is based.

The APIR seminar series aims at bringing together scholars from Comparative Politics and International Relations. We invite papers combining comparative authoritarianism and IR, as well as contributions that help clarify important theoretical concepts and empirical patterns in either discipline. Colleagues interested in presenting in the workshop series should email Alex Tokhi (alexandros.tokhi [at] wzb.eu) or Alex Schmotz (alexander.schmotz [at] wzb.eu).

When: Once a month on a Tuesday afternoon (see dates below)

Where: WZB Berlin Social Science Center, Reichpietschufer 50, 10785 Berlin, Room A305

What: A classic format: 90 minute research seminar with one paper presentation (15 min), one discussant (10), and plenty of time for Q&A

Who: All scholars from WZB and the Berlin area and anyone interested in authoritarian politics and/or international relations

The next sessions you can find here.

Organized by Alexandros Tokhi (Department Global Governance) and Alexander Schmotz (Department of Democracy & Democratisation)