Mahurin Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects


Political Science

Additional Departmental Affiliation

Philosophy and Religion

Document Type



What factors drive an individual to trust, or not trust, their government? Over the past two decades, an extensive literature has developed that seeks to identify the sources and determinants of institutional trust in East and Southeast Asia. While this literature has solidified around several factors, for example, positive evaluations of economic performance or anti-corruption efforts, there is still significant debate on the importance of others. This study seeks to contribute to this ongoing debate by testing the role of traditionalism or traditional social values and partisanship. Utilizing data on 13 countries from Wave 4 of the Asian Barometer Survey and controlling for a range of commonly identified determinants of institutional trust, this study uses regression analysis to test to what extent traditional social values and partisanship shape individual-level institutional trust, both at the regional, aggregate level as well as on a country by country basis. While traditional social values quite consistently display a positive, significant relationship with institutional trust, the role of partisanship is less consistent, varying from country to country.

Advisor(s) or Committee Chair

Timothy Rich, Ph.D.


International Relations | Political Science