Is Migration Threatening Social Trust in Europe?

Reprint No. 2018:40

Author(s): Andreas BerghYear: 2018 Title: Trust in the EU at Challenging Times: Interdisciplinary European Studies Chapter: 5Editor(s): Antonina Bakardjieva Engelbrekt, Niklas Bremberg, Anna Michalski and Lars OxelheimPublisher: Palgrave MacmillanCity: New York Pages: 91–109
Online article (restrictions may apply)

Bergh considers the relationship between migration and interpersonal trust in the European Union. Interpersonal trust, Bergh avers, is an important foundation for a well-functioning society. The question is how interpersonal trust is affected by increased migration in countries with differing levels of trust. Bergh shows that migrants from low-trust countries who move to high-trust ones show higher trust than those who remain in the former lands. Their trust is lower, however, than that of persons who have always lived in countries with higher trust. Factors such as corruption and weakness in the rule of law cause damage to interpersonal trust, which is very difficult to repair. Bergh contends that the Union must act to strengthen the rule of law and combat economic and social inequality.

Bergh, Andreas (2018), "Is Migration Threatening Social Trust in Europe?". Chapter 5, pp. 91–109 in Antonina Bakardjieva Engelbrekt, Niklas Bremberg, Anna Michalski and Lars Oxelheim, eds., Trust in the EU at Challenging Times: Interdisciplinary European Studies. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Andreas Bergh


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Interdisciplinary European Studies

The European Union and the Return of the Nation State


This book explores the complex and ever-changing relationship between the European Union and its member states. The recent surge in tension in this relationship has been prompted by the actions of some member state governments as they question fundamental EU values and principles and refuse to implement common decisions seemingly on the basis of narrowly defined national interests.

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