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Education and Tolerance

A Comparative Quantitative Analysis of the Educational Effect on Tolerance


Lenka Drazanova

This book examines to what extent the effect of education on political and social tolerance varies cross-nationally. It gives an inventory of micro- and macro- level factors moderating this effect. The empirical analysis is based on comparative surveys across 24 and 33 countries at two time points. Results indicate that the positive effect of education does not always overcome the negative effects of personality characteristics and low socio-economic status. Moreover, education contributes to more tolerant views only in countries with certain political, socio-economic and cultural background. Overall, the book argues that there are several micro- and macro-level conditions that should be fulfilled before one may proclaim education as the universal problem solver.

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5. Education and Tolerance Around the World: What Factors Lead to Differences Between Countries?


5.1 Introduction and Research Questions

Chapter 4 addressed the question whether there are differences between educational groups in regards to their levels of political and social tolerance and whether these differences are linear or not. The analyses presented in Chapter 4 also tested to what extent is the relationship between education and tolerance determined by psychological predispositions and socio-economic conditions.

This chapter expands upon the results from Chapter 4. Firstly, it examines country-level variation in general levels of political and social tolerance and particularly the country-level variation in the effect of education on tolerance. Secondly, the chapter focuses on the question whether the impact of education on political and social tolerance varies depending on the presence or absence of contextual characteristics, that is to say on possible explanations of the differences in educational effects between countries.

There are several research questions of interest in this chapter. First, the most general question asks whether levels of political and social tolerance vary across countries. Second, I investigate to what extent are the overall differences between countries in levels of political and social tolerance explained by differences in country characteristics. However, these research questions should be thought of only as complementary questions to those of the main interest in this chapter:

RQ4: Does the strength of the relationship between education and political and social tolerance vary systematically across countries?

This question is mainly concerned with the fact whether in some countries...

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