Date of Degree

2-2022

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.

Program

Political Science

Advisor

Alyson Cole

Advisor

Till Weber

Abstract

The Syrian Civil War led to a massive influx of refugees into the neighboring country of Jordan. In this paper, I investigate the effect of Syrian refugee arrivals on institutional trust, national pride, and support for authoritarian or democratic regimes among the Jordanian population. Methodologically, I use advanced quantitative techniques (in particular, ”difference-in-differences” and ”instrumental variables”) to identify causal relationships in various survey and census data. The findings suggest that an increase in refugee percentage in Jordanian governorates led to a reduction in political trust and positive attitudes towards having a strong leader (authority). However, an increase in refugee percentage led to a rise in Jordanians’ national pride and positive response towards having democracy as a political system. This study, thus, contributes to the literature the opposite impact of refugees on specific and diffuse political support. This study also adds a new discussion to the literature by uncovering that even though nationalistic tendencies increased in Jordanians, they did not cause extreme and anti-democratic ideologies in the natives’ behavior as seen in many studies of Western countries.

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