Public Choice

, Volume 169, Issue 3–4, pp 231–250 | Cite as

Terrorism’s effects on social capital in European countries

  • Paschalis Arvanitidis
  • Athina Economou
  • Christos Kollias


Studies have shown that major terrorist events have the potential to exert significant influence on citizens’ risk-perceptions, (in) security sentiments, values and behavioral attitudes towards state institutions and their fellow citizens. Within this growing strand of literature, this paper, allowing for a cohort of demographic and socioeconomic traits, examines the extent to which major terrorist events in four European countries affected two key aspects of social capital, namely institutional and social trust. The data used are drawn from European Social Surveys for the years 2004, 2012 and 2014. Results reported indicate that terrorist incidents can trigger social dynamics that affect trust attitudes; however, these effects are short-lived and dissipate rapidly.


Terrorism Social capital Institutional trust Social trust 



The paper has greatly benefited from the insightful comments and constructive suggestions by Todd Sandler, two anonymous referees and the participants of the 7th Conference on Terrorism and Policy, University of Texas at Dallas. We are also grateful to the Editor in Chief for editorial corrections that improved the final version of the manuscript. The usual disclaimer applies.

Supplementary material

11127_2016_370_MOESM1_ESM.docx (68 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 68 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paschalis Arvanitidis
    • 1
  • Athina Economou
    • 1
  • Christos Kollias
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EconomicsUniversity of ThessalyVolosGreece

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