How Context Matters: The Significance of Political Homogeneity and Language for Political Efficacy

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The extent of political efficacy within a community reflects the general state of affairs within that community, with higher levels of political efficacy presumably related to other kinds of socially preferable attitudes. High levels of political efficacy could further be regarded as a glue that keeps a political community together and should be even more important within minority communities. As political efficacy differs across minority communities, it indicates that individual levels of political efficacy is not only an individual trait but something also affected by the local contextual features. To explore the relationship between varying local contexts and political efficacy within a minority population, we use data from Barometern 2019 (N = 3,913), which is a survey measuring the opinions and attitudes of the Swedish-speaking population in Finland, i.e., the Swedish-speaking Finns. This study, thus, analyses the role of contextual- and individual-level determinants (e.g., age, education and gender) as well as linguistic identity (Swedish and bilingual) and political interest on both internal (subjective sense of political understanding) and external (political responsiveness) political efficacy. We find that context matters for political efficacy within a minority context but that the effects differ between the internal and external types of political efficacy. The findings presented will contribute to increasing our knowledge about political efficacy within a minority context.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-22
Number of pages22
JournalScandinavian Political Studies
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 27 Jul 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Political Efficacy
  • Minority language
  • minority research


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