Antecedents of Trust among Citizens and Non-citizens in Qatar

  • Abdoulaye Diop
  • Ashley E. Jardina
  • Mark Tessler
  • Jill WittrockEmail author


Utilizing new survey data on social capital, we examine the determinants and locus of generalized trust among citizens and immigrants in Qatar, a small, heterogeneous, wealthy, and non-democratic country in which immigrants far outnumber citizens. Scholars of social capital have explored the development of generalized trust in many countries. Most of this attention has focused on the Western world, and little is known about how trust forms in other contexts. Our findings show that important insights resulting from research in developed democracies apply and have explanatory power in some of the very different environments present in Qatar, that these insights do not apply and have explanatory power in some of the other environments present in Qatar, that circumstances and experiences that characterize this array of environments can be identified and described in terms of variable attributes, and that linkages can be established between these attributes and particular antecedents of generalized trust.


Generalized trust Social capital Middle East and North Africa Ethnic minorities 



The Social Capital Survey was funded by the Qatar National Research Foundation (QNRF) through its National Priority Research Program (NPRP). Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Qatar National Research Fund. QNRF has not approved or endorsed its content.


  1. Ai, C., & Norton, E. C. (2003). Interaction terms in logit and probit models. Economics Letters, 80, 123–129.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Alesina, A., & La Ferrara, E. (2002). Who trusts others? Journal of Public Economics, 85, 207–234.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bjørnskov, C. (2007). Determinants of generalized trust: a cross-country comparison. Public Choice, 130, 1–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Brehm, J., & Rahn, W. (1997). Individual-level evidence for the causes and consequences of social capital. American Journal of Political Science, 41, 999–1023.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Carapico, S. (2010). Civil society. In M. Penner Angrist (Ed.), Politics and society in the contemporary Middle East (pp. 91–109). Boulder: Lynne Renner.Google Scholar
  6. Chhibber, P. (2002). Why are some women politically active? The household, public space, and political participation in India. International Journal of Comparative Sociology, 43, 409–429.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Crystal, J. (1995). Civil society in the Arabian Gulf. In A. Richard Norton (Ed.), Civil society in the Middle East (pp. 259–283). New York: E.J. Brill.Google Scholar
  8. Delhey, J., & Newton, K. (2005). Predicting cross-national levels of social trust: global pattern or nordic exceptionalism? European Sociological Review, 21, 311–327.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Dinesen, P. T., & Hooghe, M. (2010). When in Rome, do as the Romans do: the acculturation of generalized trust among immigrants in Western Europe. International Migration Review, 44, 697–727.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Freitag, M., & Bühlmann, M. (2009). Crafting trust the role of political institutions in a comparative perspective. Comparative Political Studies, 42, 1537–1566.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Herreros, F., & Criado, H. (2009). Social trust, social capital and perceptions of immigration. Political Studies, 57, 337–355.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Hooghe, M., Reeskens, T., Stolle, D., & Trappers, A. (2009). Ethnic diversity and generalized trust in Europe a cross-national multilevel study. Comparative Political Studies, 42, 198–223.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Jamal, A. (2007). When is social trust a desirable outcome? Examining levels of trust in the Arab world. Comparative Political Studies, 40, 1328–1349.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Jamal, A., & Nooruddin, I. (2010). The democratic utility of trust: a cross-national analysis. The Journal of Politics, 72, 45–59.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Kesler, C., & Bloemraad, I. (2010). Does immigration erode social capital? The conditional effects of immigration-generated diversity on trust, membership, and participation across 19 countries, 1981–2000. Canadian Journal of Political Science, 43, 319–347.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Kuran, T. (2013). Institutional roots of authoritarian rule in the Middle East: political legacies of the Waqf. Working paper, Retrieved from
  17. La Porta, R., Lopez-De-Silane, F., Shleifer, A., & Vishny, R. W. (1996). Trust in large organizations. No. w5864. Cambridge: National Bureau of Economic Research.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Letki, N. (2008). Does diversity erode social cohesion? Social capital and race in British neighbourhoods. Political Studies, 56, 99–126.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Levi, M. (1998). A state of trust. In V. Braithwaite & M. Levi (Eds.), Trust and governance. New York: Russell Sage.Google Scholar
  20. Paxton, P. (2007). Association memberships and generalized trust: a multilevel model across 31 countries. Social Forces, 86, 47–76.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Peterson, G. R. (2001). Religion as orienting worldview. Zygon, 36, 5–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Putnam, R. (1993). Making democracy work: civic traditions in modern Italy. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  23. Putnam, R. (2000). Bowling alone: the collapse and revival of American community. New York: Simon and Schuster.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Putnam, R. D. (2007). E pluribus unum: diversity and community in the twenty‐first century, the 2006 Johan Skytte prize lecture. Scandinavian Political Studies, 30, 137–174.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Röder, A., & Mühlau, P. (2012). Low expectations or different evaluations: what explains immigrants’ high levels of trust in host-country institutions? Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 38, 777–792.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Rose, R., Mishler, W., & Haerpfer, C. (1998). Democracy and its alternatives: understanding post-communist societies. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar
  27. Social Capital Survey of Qatar I. (2011). [dataset]. March 2012 version. Doha, Qatar: Qatar UniversityGoogle Scholar
  28. Stolle, D., & Hooghe, M. (2004). The roots of social capital: attitudinal and network mechanisms in the relation between youth and adult indicators of social capital. Acta Politica, 39, 422–441.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Stolle, D., Soroka, S., & Johnston, R. (2008). When does diversity erode trust? Neighborhood diversity, interpersonal trust and the mediating effect of social interactions. Political Studies, 56, 57–75.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Uslaner, E. M. (2002). The moral foundations of trust. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Abdoulaye Diop
    • 1
  • Ashley E. Jardina
    • 2
  • Mark Tessler
    • 3
  • Jill Wittrock
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.Social and Economic Survey Research InstituteQatar UniversityDohaQatar
  2. 2.Department of Political ScienceDuke UniversityDurhamUSA
  3. 3.Department of Political Science and Center for Political StudiesUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  4. 4.Center for Social and Behavioral Research and Department of Political ScienceUniversity of Northern IowaCedar FallsUSA

Personalised recommendations