Direct democracy and political trust: Enhancing trust, initiating distrust–or both?

Bauer, Paul Cornelius; Fatke, Tim Matthias Julian (2014). Direct democracy and political trust: Enhancing trust, initiating distrust–or both? Swiss political science review / Schweizerische Zeitschrift für Politikwissenschaft, 20(1), pp. 49-69. Wiley 10.1111/spsr.12071

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This study investigates the relationship between direct democracy and political trust. We suggest a solution to the controversy in research centering on positive versus negative effects of direct democracy by analytically differentiating between the availability of direct democratic rights and the actual use of those rights. Theoretically, greater availability of direct democratic rights may enhance political trust by increasing citizens’ perception that political authorities can be controlled as well as by incentivizing political authorities to act trustworthily. In contrast, the actual use of the corresponding direct democratic instruments may initiate distrust as it signals to citizens that political authorities do not act in the public’s interest. We test both hypotheses for the very first time with sub-national data of Switzerland. The empirical results seem to support our theoretical arguments.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

03 Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences > Social Sciences > Institute of Political Science

UniBE Contributor:

Bauer, Paul Cornelius and Fatke, Tim Matthias Julian

Subjects:

300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 320 Political science

ISSN:

1424-7755

Publisher:

Wiley

Language:

English

Submitter:

Giada Gianola

Date Deposited:

15 Dec 2014 11:39

Last Modified:

15 Dec 2014 11:39

Publisher DOI:

10.1111/spsr.12071

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Direct democracy, Political trust, Switzerland, Cantons, Institutions, Public Opinion, Initiatives, Referendums

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.60810

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/60810

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