Linking two levels of governance: Citizens’ trust in domestic and European institutions over time

Liisa Talving, Sofia Vasilopoulou

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This article puts forward a comprehensive framework for explaining the complex and dynamic relationship between trust in the domestic government and trust in the EU, considering time, country and individual-level variation. Using longitudinal comparative data from 32 Eurobarometer survey waves (2004—2018), we first establish that the link between attitude formation at the national and the EU supranational levels is present over time. Second, we show that during ‘extraordinary’ times of crisis the strength of that relationship intensifies. Third, we posit that the European sovereign debt crisis changed the mechanism for this relationship in two ways: during ‘extraordinary’ times, the link is much stronger in countries hardest hit by the crisis and the relationship holds independent of individuals’ political sophistication across all countries. Our findings have implications for understanding the drivers of EU support and theories of institutional trust.
Original languageEnglish
Article number102289
JournalElectoral Studies
Early online date30 Jan 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 30 Jan 2021

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