English title: Trust and Openness: Prerequisites for Democratic Engagement?

Author(s): Sofie Marien - Henrik Serup Christensen -

Language: English

Type: Book chapter

Year: 2013


The impact of political trust on political participation is still contested, especially considering the variety of political expressions citizens use as political tools. A further complication is added by the substantial differences in the context under which participation take place and the contextual impact on the link between political trust and participation. We here examine how political trust affects institutionalised and non-institutionalised forms of political participation. Furthermore, we examine how these linkages are affected by the institutional openness of the political system, since this constitutes a central element of the context of participation. These research questions are examined using data from the fourth round of the European Social Survey from 2008 including 26 democratic countries and a total of 49,979 respondents. The results suggest that political trust promotes institutionalised participation and has a negative impact on non-institutionalised participation. Furthermore, the institutional context mediates the effect of political trust on political participation meaning that institutional openness strengthens the effect of political trust on institutionalised participation whereas it weakens the effect of political distrust on non-institutionalised participation.

From page no: 109

To page no: 134

Anthology: Democracy in transition political participation in the European Union

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