Political Trust and Disenchantment with Politics

International Perspectives


That the publics of Western democracies are becoming increasingly disenchanted with their political institutions is part of the conventional wisdom in Political Science. This trend is often equated with the expectation that all forms of political attachment and participation show similar patterns of decline. Based on empirical underpinnings derived from a range of original and sophisticated comparative analyses from Europe and beyond, this collection shows that no such universal pattern of decline exists. Nor should it be expected, given the diversity of reasons that citizens have to place or withdraw trust, and to engage in conventional political participation or in protest. Contributers are: Christoph Arndt, Wiebke Breustedt, Christina Eder, Manfred te Grotenhuis, Alexia Katsanidou, Rik Linssen, Michael P. McDonald, Ingvill C. Mochmann, Kenneth Newton, Maria Oskarson, Suzanne L. Parker, Glenn R. Parker, Markus Quandt, Peer Scheepers, Hans Schmeets, Thoralf Stark, and Terri L. Towner.
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Biographical Note

Christina Eder, Dr. (1980), is Head of the Research Data Center 'Elections' at GESIS. Her research focuses on electoral and non-electoral political participation, in particular direct democracy, gender politics, and the measurement and effects of political institutions. Ingvill C. Mochmann, Dr. (1969), is Head of the EUROLAB at GESIS and Vice-President for Research and Professor of International Politics at the Cologne Business School. She has published widely in the area of democracy and minority rights. Markus Quandt, Dr. (1968), is Head of the Research Data Center 'International Survey Programmes' at GESIS. He has published on political participation, electoral campaigning, collective goods problems, and measurement problems in comparative surveys.

Table of contents

List of Figures and Tables Acknowledgements Note on Contributors 1. Editors’ Introduction: Political Trust and Political Disenchantment in Comparative Perspective Markus Quandt, Christina Eder, and Ingvill C. Mochmann 2. Trust and Political Disenchantment. An Overview Kenneth Newton 3. Trends in Conventional and Unconventional Political Participation in Europe 1981-2008 Rik Linssen, Hans Schmeets, Peer Scheepers, and Manfred te Grotenhuis 4. Rethinking the Meaning and Measurement of Political Trust Suzanne L. Parker, Glenn R. Parker and Terri L. Towner 5. When Citizens Lose Faith: Political Trust and Political Participation Christina Eder and Alexia Katsanidou 6. The Role of Electoral Systems for the Translation of Political Trust into Electoral Participation Christoph Arndt 7. Social risk, Political Detachment and Welfare state De-commodification Maria Oskarson 8. Contextual Income Inequality and Political Behavior Michael P. McDonald 9. Thinking Outside the Democratic Box: Political Values, Performance and Political Support in Authoritarian Regimes Wiebke Breustedt and Toralf Stark Index


All students of political trust, disenchantment and participation, especially in an international perspective.