An article in the latest issue of Political Behavior examines trust in government among British Muslims. It finds that British Muslims are likely to have a far higher trust in government, and Parliament, than Christians. Among the findings: 62% of Muslims, compared to 35% of Christians, have a ‘lot’, or a ‘fair amount’ of trust in Parliament. The explanation advanced by the author is to do with migration: Muslims are more likely than Christian respondents to be migrants and migrants tend to come to a country with a positive view of the host country’s institutions. There was less of a marked difference between non-migrant Muslims and Christians in their attitude towards institutions.
The latest issue of World Politics carries an article on legislative malfeasance and political accountability. It notes that evidence from a variety of countries shows that ‘elected officials who are charged with or convicted of criminal wrongdoing are typically re-elected rather than repudiated by the electorate’. The authors argue that the key to voter reaction is the information they receive. The authors found ‘voters in electoral districts with more access to information, measured by higher than median per capita newspaper and magazine circulation, voted out allegedly corrupt incumbents at a higher rate than did those in lower-information environments.’ The final sentence of the article reads: ‘Our study suggests that anything that compromises the press potentially compromises democratic accountability’. The mass media in the UK come in for much valid criticism. Nonetheless, recent events suggest that they fulfil a vital role as agents of political accountability.
Rahsaan Maxwell, ‘Trust in Government Among British Muslims: The Importance of Migration Status’, Political Behavior, Vol. 32 (1), March 2010, pp. 89-109.
Eric C. C. Chang, Miriam A. Golden, and Seth J. Hill, ‘Legislative Malfeasance and Political Accountability’, World Politics, Vol. 62(2), April 2010, pp. 177-220.