Trust in European Democracies - WP4: Democratic systems and national cultures: transition and interplay of values

Projekt: Forschung


  • Institut für Vergleichende Umfrageforschung. Eurasien Barometer
  • Metropolitan Universität Prag
  • Centre de Recherches Politiques de Sciences Po
  • Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS)
  • Universität der Peloponnes
  • Universität von Salerno
  • Universität Bukarest
  • Comenius-Universität Bratislava
  • Universität Ljubljana
  • Aktiebolaget Bikupan
  • Nationale W.-N.-Karasin-Universität Charkiw


Political trust has long been regarded as an important element of regime support and factor of regime stability; it is widely associated with a number of positive outcomes in representative democracies. Political trust drives citizens’ interest and engagement in politics, increases voting turnout and makes law-abiding behavior more common. Political trust is frequently equated to diffuse regime support and thus linked to the effective functioning and stability of the political system. The proposed research effort will monitor the structural (long-term) drivers of political trust but also emphasize the strategies which can be employed by diverse actors and agencies to strengthen accurate and informed judgments of agency trustworthiness. The objective of this ambitious project is twofold. First, we aim to design and implement a complex research effort to collect comprehensive evidence on the judgments of trustworthiness in a range of European states. Second, the project will develop a comprehensive and transparent toolbox of short-term and long-term policy interventions including recommendations, and methodologies for enhancing trust in political institutions, boosting transparency, and inclusiveness of representative systems in Europe. While there is a growing concern about the crisis of democracy and democratic backsliding, this research effort will provide an innovative theoretical perspective on the sources of regime support and strategies for trust building in the public domain. The project looks at the different drivers of 'positive high trust in democracy' and 'negative high trust in autocracy'. The project will facilitate development of a new paradigm of political trust and trust-building and will inspire emergence of new insights on the multi-facet origins of political trust and multi-factor nature of trustworthiness. The project has partners in Austria, Czechia, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, and Ukraine.

The aim of this WP is to study the mechanisms and examine the patterns of interplay between political values, support for democracy and political trust on one side, and social, cultural, religious, and other values that constitute an important component of the national cultures in the EU, on the other. This WP will identify those social and cultural values, attitudes and beliefs which are congruent with the support for democracy and reinforce political trust, and those which hinder it.
The findings will contribute to the complex understanding of the mechanisms of reproduction of political trust in the society, various types of trust and relevant policy measures to tackle it.