Varieties of Political Trust and Distrust in the Age of Multiple Crises

Type
Open Panel
Language
English
Format
In Person
Description

The third decade of the twentieth century ushered in a new period of multiple and overlapping global crises: a pandemic, military conflict as well as climate, energy and inflationary crises followed the multiple crises of the previous decade in Europe and beyond. The relationship between citizens and political institutions was already under a lot of strain in recent years as systems of governance at all levels struggled to cope with new, overwhelming challenges. This strained relationship has been linked with high levels of electoral volatility, decline of party identification and electoral participation, episodes of protest mobilization, the rise of various types anti-establishment political parties and politicians with questionable commitment to democratic values. These expressions are perceived as indicative of a democratic malaise with one of its main correlates, if not drivers, being the erosion of citizen trust and growing distrust towards political institutions.
This panel invites paper submissions that investigate more in depth the phenomena of political trust and/or distrust in light of the recent crises. What is affecting levels of political trust and/or distrust? How relevant is (dis-)trust for the functioning and the legitimization of democracy? Is trust an intention-based or a performance-based outcome? How does trust relate to different levels of governance and how can we explain discrepancies? Can there be positive forms of political distrust and could distrust be a corrective to mounting democratic deficits? Are political trust and/or distrust dependent on institutional performance or can they have more durable normative foundations? What is the impact of the recent crises on political trust and distrust?
Priority will be given to paper proposals that rely on empirically-driven research with a comparative focus. The panel is open to all area specialists.

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