Popular political attitudes in Samoa: Findings of the Pacific Attitudes Survey

Michael Leach*, Julien Barbara, Ioana Chan Mow, Sina Vaai, Christopher Mudaliar, Patila Amosa, Louise Mataia, Susana Tauaa, Taema Imo, Vernetta Heem

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    1 Citation (Scopus)


    Popular political attitudes surveys have been conducted globally for several decades, but the Pacific region remains an exception. This paper presents the findings of the first Pacific Attitudes Survey (PAS), conducted in Samoa from December 2020-January 2021. Drawing on a nationally representative sample of Samoans of voting-age (n = 1319) the PAS gauges the attitudes of ordinary Samoans to their democracy, levels of popular trust in institutions, attitudes towards the role of government, and to women's participation in politics. Findings reveal high levels of support for democracy and trust in democratic institutions. At the same time, popular political attitudes highlight a distinct model of Samoan democracy, in which respect for modern democratic norms is tempered and entwined with deeper traditions of Samoan community and identity.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)408-429
    Number of pages22
    JournalAsia and the Pacific Policy Studies
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Sept 2022


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