Trust levels in authorities amongst people with a migration background


Several participants with a migration background from South-Eastern Europe and Russia compared the situation in Germany with the one in their native countries and concluded that “here in Germany we can trust the emergency services. Their staff is getting paid well, they have nice working hours. Here you don't have as much corruption […] I do feel in good hands here” (G2-P5). Other participants who grew up in Israel or lived there for an extended period of time described a yet different trust relationship between citizens and authorities: “In Israel, there is a much stronger feeling of closeness to the police force, they are a part of the population. Here, in Germany, there is a clear dividing line between citizens and the police. It was a very different feeling in Israel […] you grow up with security guards from a very early age. They don't cause fear, they are there for you. In Germany it's very different” (G8-P4). These quotes suggest that it cannot be assumed that groups of the population with a non-native background (migrants, expatriates, etc.) will, in any case, distrust authorities in a disaster situation. On the one hand, this may be the case for those recent migrants who still have very “fresh” experiences of rejection, corruption and/or are coming from war-torn countries. On the other hand, migrants or expatriates who have settled and strongly identify themselves with their new home and the new environment may, through their increased level of trust in authorities, be of particular help as informal liaison persons who can mediate between affected citizens and disaster managers.

Note: See source document for full reference.

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