Rowman and Littlefield International

Political Trust

Why Context Matters

Edited by Sonja Zmerli and Marc Hooghe

Cutting-edge empirical research on political trust as a relational concept.

Hardback ISBN: 9781907301230 Release date: Nov 2011
£65.00 €90.00 $105.00
Paperback ISBN: 9781907301582 Release date: Feb 2013
£30.00 €41.00 $49.00

Pages: 240

ECPR Press

From a European comparative perspective, the book addresses a broad range of contested issues. Can political trust be conceived as a one-dimensional concept, and to what extent do international population surveys warrant the culturally equivalent measurement of political trust across European societies? Is there indeed an observable general trend of declining levels of political trust? What are the individual, societal and political prerequisites of political trust and how do they translate into trustful attitudes? Why do so many Eastern European citizens still distrust their political institutions and how does the implementation of welfare state policies enhance and benefit from political trust? The comprehensive empirical evidence presented here by leading scholars offers valuable insights into the relational aspects of political trust and will certainly stimulate future research. Features:- a state-of-the-art European perspective on political trust- an analysis of the most recent trends with regard to the development of political trust- a comparison of traditional and emerging democracies in Europe- the consequences of political trust on political stability and the welfare state- a counterbalance to the gloomy American picture of declining political trust levels.


List of Figures and Tables vii

Acknowledgements xi

Biographies xiii

Chapter One: Introduction: The Context of Political Trust

Marc Hooghe and Sonja Zmerli 1

Chapter Two: Measuring Political Trust Across Time and Space

Sofie Marien 13

Chapter Three: Falling or Fluctuating Trust Levels? The Case of the


Mark Bovens and Anchrit Wille 47

Chapter Four: Winners, Losers and Three Types of Trust

Sonja Zmerli and Ken Newton 67

Chapter Five: Trustworthy States, Trusting Citizens? A Multilevel Study

into Objective and Subjective Determinants of Political Trust

Tom van der Meer and Paul Dekker 95

Chapter Six: Political Trust and Distrust In Post-Authoritarian Contexts

Richard Rose and William Mishler 117

Chapter Seven: Corruption, the Inequality Trap and Trust in Government

Eric M. Uslaner 141

Chapter Eight: Dissatisfied Democrats, Policy Feedback and European

Welfare States, 1976–2001

Staffan Kumlin 163

Chapter Nine: Evaluations of Welfare State Reforms in Germany:

Political Trust Makes a (Big) Difference

Eva-Maria Trüdinger and Uwe Bollow 187


Marc Hooghe is a Professor of Political Science at the University of Leuven (Belgium) and a Visiting Professor at the universities of Mannheim (Germany) and Lille (France). He has published extensively on political participation and social capital, and holds an ERC Advanced Grant to investigate the democratic linkage between citizens and the state.

Sonja Zmerli is currently Acting Professor in Comparative Politics at the University of Mannheim. Her most recent research was published in the European Political Science Review, American Behavioral Scientist, Public Opinion Quarterly, Revista Española de Investigaciones Sociológicas, and European Political Science.

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