Chapter

Down and Down We Go: Political Trust in Sweden

Sören Holmberg

in Critical Citizens

Published in print March 1999 | ISBN: 9780198295686
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191600043 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0198295685.003.0005
Down and Down We Go: Political Trust in Sweden

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In Scandinavia, as demonstrated by the analysis of the World Values Survey in Ch. 2, people remain highly positive towards the political community and democratic principles; nevertheless, support for the remaining three levels of measure—regime performance, political institutions, and politicians—is more problematic. This chapter therefore focuses on how trust in politicians has evolved over the last twenty to thirty years in Scandinavia (Denmark, Norway, Iceland, Netherlands, Sweden, and Finland all established, parliamentary, multi‐party, unitary, welfare state democracies. The analysis starts at the bottom level—trust in politicians—since that is where the greatest change over time might be expected, and where there is access to some of the longest measured time‐series in the Scandinavian countries. Subsequent sections of the chapter analyse support for Swedish political institutions (parties, elections, the Rikstag, and the Cabinet), and democratic processes too. Considers explanations for trends in trust in politicians and regime institutions over time.

Keywords: democratic processes; Denmark; elections; Finland; funnel model; Iceland; Netherlands; Norway; parties; political institutions; political trust; politicians; public opinion; regime performance; Scandinavia; Sweden

Chapter.  7300 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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