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SPP 474

Author: Richard Rose and William Mishler
Description: This paper tests six hypotheses about why trust in political institutions varies according to individual characteristics and differences in national and in temporal contexts. It does so by analyzing 67 New Europe Barometer surveys from 14 post-Communist countries between 1993 and 2004. Ten countries are now in the European Union, while Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Croatia are not. Multi-level modelling shows that political and economic performance are the most important influences on trust, and that how performance is perceived is more important than so-called objective measures of context. The extent to which specific performance measures are important is also subject to variation across time. Since trust is not inherent in individual socialization, the findings suggest that if the performance of government improves, so trust should increase.

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Postal Address:    CSPP Publications, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, G1 1XQ, UK

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CSPP School of Government & Public Policy U. of Strathclyde Glasgow G1 1XQ Scotland