Förtroendeklyftan : politiskt deltagande och förtroende i Europa och Sverige
Sammanfattning: The purpose of this essay is to study causes for the lack of political trust in Europe and especially in Sweden. The essay starts with a presentation of two theories about the reasons for low political trust. Robert D. Putnam among others presents a theory that gives social capital an important role when viewing the low political trust. As Putnam sees it a person that participates in any kind of organization, political or not, develop trust for other human beings that in the long run affects political trust. Pippa Norris on the other hand is convinced that political trust is connected to the performance of political institutions. She claims that for example corruption is strongly relates to political trust. The citizens of a country in which corruption is common will not trust politicians as much as the citizens in a nation where corruption is lower. In this essay, I present the current levels of trust in politicians and parliament in the countries that participate in the cross-national public opinion survey European social Survey (ESS). The investigation shows that Denmark, Finland and Switzerland have got the highest levels of political trust and that Poland, Czech Republic and Portugal have got the lowest. My analysis shows that neither gender nor age makes any difference in political trust. The comparison between political trust and participation leads to the conclusion that citizens that participate in politics have more political trust irrespective of which kind of organization they participate in. I also compare political trust and a corruption index. That comparison shows that a high level of corruption is related to a lowlevel of political trust.
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