Citizens’ support is crucial to effectively combat organized crime, a substantial threat to many countries. Contrary to prior studies identifying a negative correlation between crime and trust in the state, studying a representative sample of 5374 individuals in Italy we find that exposing the participants to journalistic images of organized crime-related violence increases trust towards institutions and state performance (measured by donations to a governmental as opposed to a non-governmental organization), perceived institutional quality, and trust in political institutions. This is remarkable considering that the participants are overly pessimistic about trends in violence: About two-thirds believe that mafia-related homicides and total homicides increased in Italy over the last two decades, and half believe that they increased by over 20%, while in reality both types of homicides declined by over 60%. These findings are relevant for governments and organizations interested in non-repressive methods to fight criminal organizations, as they underscore the potential impact of media narratives on shaping public attitudes toward crime and state authorities.

Organized crime, violence and support for the state

Daniele, Gianmarco;Pinotti, Paolo
2023

Abstract

Citizens’ support is crucial to effectively combat organized crime, a substantial threat to many countries. Contrary to prior studies identifying a negative correlation between crime and trust in the state, studying a representative sample of 5374 individuals in Italy we find that exposing the participants to journalistic images of organized crime-related violence increases trust towards institutions and state performance (measured by donations to a governmental as opposed to a non-governmental organization), perceived institutional quality, and trust in political institutions. This is remarkable considering that the participants are overly pessimistic about trends in violence: About two-thirds believe that mafia-related homicides and total homicides increased in Italy over the last two decades, and half believe that they increased by over 20%, while in reality both types of homicides declined by over 60%. These findings are relevant for governments and organizations interested in non-repressive methods to fight criminal organizations, as they underscore the potential impact of media narratives on shaping public attitudes toward crime and state authorities.
2023
2023
Campedelli, Gian Maria; Daniele, Gianmarco; Martinangeli, Andrea F. M.; Pinotti, Paolo
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11565/4061717
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