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Department of Political Science

Research project: Trust and Information Processing (Eri Bertsou)

More and more citizens express distrust of political parties, the political establishment and even their own democratic institutions. This distrust is often manifested as support for anti-establishment political figures and parties, protest and law defiance, all of which are potential challenges to representative party democracy and healthy democratic systems. Examining political distrust, the cognitive processing and behavioural implications entailed in citizen attitudes is an important step in understanding today’s citizenries. This research focuses on clarifying the concept and measurement of distrusting political attitudes, mapping decision-making processes in distrusting environments and outlining the implications of distrust for everyday politics.


  • Paper on “Political Distrust from the Citizens’ Perspective: What Do Citizens Mean and Think When Claiming to Distrust Political Institutions and Politicians?”.
  • Paper with Michael Bruter on “Measuring political distrust and why evaluations matter”.
  • Paper on “Trust, Distrust or In-between? Why Measures of Citizens' Political Trust in Survey Research Matter”, at the ECPR General Conference, Prague, September 7-10, 2016.
  • Book project based on Doctoral Thesis “Citizen Attitudes of Political Distrust: Examining Distrust through Technical, Moral and Interest-based Evaluations”.