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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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Although writing a book is often quite a solitary activity, this work would not have been completed without the help of many others. First and foremost, I want to express my absolute gratitude to my dissertation adviser Prof. Dr. Bernhard Weßels. The quality of this book has been undoubtedly improved by the many debates we had on the topic. I feel incredibly privileged to know Bernhard, not only because I have learned a great deal from his perspective on research and his sharp insight on almost any issue, but also because of his steadfast support and constant encouragement throughout my academic career. Years ago, when I was deciding where to go to pursue my PhD, my academic advisor at the time suggested to choose Berlin among my options so that I can work with Bernhard Weßels. I think it is safe to say that it was one of the best career advices anyone has ever given me. The outcome of this book would also have never been possible without the advice and suggestions, especially in the first years, from many of my colleagues at the Berlin Graduate School of Social Sciences (BGSS) at Humboldt University.

My highest appreciation also goes to my brother Martin and especially my parents. Without my parents’ continuous support throughout the years this book would be virtually impossible. I am very lucky to have a very loving and supportive family and I will always be grateful to them for this....

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