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date: 16 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article examines evidence from social psychology and comparative social science on the trust-related effects of having a national identity. The starting hypothesis is that identities provide a foundation for extending trust by permitting those who share them to make assumptions about the motivations and intentions of others. The discussion in the article establishes that this hypothesis is empirically supported, and examines the trust-related effects of national identities in particular. We are attentive to the strength and quality of these identities, which correlate with how inclusive or exclusive they are. We then propose that public policy steers national identities in a culturally civic direction, emphasizing elements that are accessible to newcomers and minorities and downplaying those that are not.

Keywords: National identity, newcomers, ethnic nationalism, civic nationalism, trust

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