East Asia

, Volume 31, Issue 4, pp 323–341 | Cite as

Authoritarian Orientations and Political Trust in East Asian Societies

  • Deyong MaEmail author
  • Feng YangEmail author


In mainstream political science literature, two main theoretical perspectives on the origins of political trust predominate: institutional theory which argues that political trust is generated from democratic institutions and cultural theory which argues that political trust is rooted in historical-cultural factors such as social trust. However, the influence of other social values, such as authoritarian orientations, has received little attention in the extant literature. This article investigates the determinants of political trust in 13 East Asian societies with a special emphasis on authoritarian orientations. The evidence from our empirical study suggests that authoritarian orientations are an independent cultural source of political trust in these societies.


Political trust Origins Authoritarian orientations East Asia 



We thank the editor and reviewers for their helpful suggestions. Financial support came from the Humanities and Social Science Programme 2013 of Ministry of Education, China (project number: 13JYA630063) and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities, China (project number: NKZXA1211). We also appreciate the Asian Barometer Project Office ( for providing data collected by the Asian Barometer Project, which was co-directed by Professors Fu Hu and Yun-han Chu and received major funding support from Taiwan’s Ministry of Education, Academia Sinica and National Taiwan University. The Asian Barometer Project Office is solely responsible for the data distribution. The views expressed herein are the authors' own and we alone are responsible for any remaining errors.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Zhou Enlai School of GovernmentNankai UniversityTianjinChina
  2. 2.Department of Political ScienceUniversity of California, Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA

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