The Polarization of Trust in the European Parliament, 2002 - 2016 [post]

Paul Cornelius Bauer, Davide Morisi
2020 unpublished
Scholars usually investigate how average levels of trust in EU institutions vary across countries and over time. Focusing on mean levels, however, ignores distributional properties that might be equally relevant for institutional legitimacy and, more broadly, democratic stability. In this study we investigate how the distribution of trust in the European Parliament (EP) has changed over time and across EU member states. Drawing on pooled cross-sectional data from the European Social Survey for
more » ... Social Survey for the period 2002–2016, we find that confidence in the EP has not only declined over time but also polarized, since citizens have increasingly moved away from the "average citizen". This polarizing trend has occurred especially in peripheral EU member states that suffered the most from the economic crisis. Furthermore, we find that trust has polarized especially among the young versus the elderly and the employed versus the unemployed. These findings have implications for EU institutions, whose legitimacy might be eroded in a highly polarized society.
doi:10.31219/ fatcat:dly2nlm2kvba7b6vsholrbio2m