Trust in Political Institutions: The Effect of Corruption, Electoral Winners, and the Post-Communist Legacy

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Abstract

Trust in political institutions is an important issue in contemporary democracies, as it contributes to democratic regimes’ legitimacy and sustainability. This paper investigates what effects corruption, political allegiance, and the post-communist history of a country have on political trust. Political trust is measured as trust towards parliament, political parties, and politicians. Both individual-and country-level factors are included in the analytical model in order to account for the personal and contextual characteristics that might shape political trust. This research employs the multilevel modelling for empirical analysis. The results show that the winner effect and corruption perception impact are relatively strongly affecting political trust. Surprisingly, the post-communist history of a country seems to play no significant role in driving political trust. The concluding part links the findings of this study back to the theory and draws several implications not only for the future research but also the real world of policies and politics.

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