Political disengagement and trust in europe
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Political Disengagement and Trust in Europe . Political Disengagement and Trust in Europe . Do patterns of engagement and trust differ across countries? And what about between different generations?

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Political Disengagement and Trust in Europe

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Political disengagement and trust in europe

Political Disengagement and Trust in Europe


Political disengagement and trust in europe1

Political Disengagement and Trust in Europe

  • Do patterns of engagement and trust differ across countries? And what about between different generations?

  • We've analysed data from all six waves of the European Social Survey (a cross-national survey that is conducted every two years across Europe) between 2002 and 2012 to try and answer these questions.


Trust and engagement

Trust and engagement

  • There is a link between trust and political participation. In 2012, countries that reported the highest levels of trust in politicians, like Sweden, tended to have higher rates of participation in political and social activities (e.g., signing a petition, joining a protest or political party, etc.).


Political disengagement and trust in europe

However, this isn't universal - participation also clearly seems to be related to political, social and economic circumstances within a country.


Political disengagement and trust in europe

Source: European Social Survey, 2012


Political disengagement and trust in europe

Source: European Social Survey, 2012


Political disengagement and trust in europe

Source: European Social Survey, 2012


Trust in national governments and parliaments and in the european union

Trust in national governments and parliaments and in the European Union

  • A closer look at the data shows that there are some common characteristics between countries with more disengaged and less trusting populations. Mistrust of governments and politicians is higher in countries that have faced recent economic and social turmoil (e.g., Cyprus) as well as former Eastern Bloc countries (e.g., Poland) with only a few decades of modern democracy under their belts.


Political disengagement and trust in europe

Source: European Social Survey, 2012


Political disengagement and trust in europe

Source: European Social Survey, 2012


Trust in institutions in europe

Trust in institutions in Europe

  • Over the six waves of the European Social Survey (2002-2012), trust in politicians and political and social institutions has generally declined. In 2010, in the immediate wake of the global recession, levels of trust in parliaments, legal systems and politicians reached their lowest points. Levels of trust increased slightly in 2012.


Trust in institutions across europe

Trust in institutions across Europe

Source: European Social Survey, 2012


Trust in european institutions

Trust in European institutions

Source: Eurobarometer: Public Opinion in the European Union: First Results. European Commission: Brussels, December 2013


Does my voice count in the eu

Does my voice count in the EU?

  • The Eurobarometer surveys also show thatEuropeans have become more likely to thinkthat their voice does not count in the EU.While in 2004, 52% of respondents felt theirvoice did not matter in the EU, this increasedto 66% in 2013.


Does my v oice count in the eu

Does my voice count in the EU?

Source: Eurobarometer: Public Opinion in the European Union: First Results. European Commission: Brussels, December 2013


What can be done to remedy decline in trust and participation

What can be done to remedy decline in trust and participation?

  • The recent British Social Attitudes Survey shows the public want their elected representatives to take some decisions for them, but want a say on big, ethical and democratic questions.

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Referenda on local issues

Referenda on local issues

Source: NatCen Social Research, British Social Attitudes, 2011


Give more power to the eu

Give more power to the EU?

Source: NatCen Social Research, British Social Attitudes, 2011


Political disengagement and trust in europe

Thank you

If you want further information or would like to contact the author,

Penny Young

Chief Executive

T. 020 7250 1866

E. [email protected]

Visit us online. www.natcen.ac.uk


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