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The Concept of Political Confidence

  • Christian Schnaudt
Chapter
Part of the Contributions to Political Science book series (CPS)

Abstract

Do individual citizens make a distinction between confidence in representative and regulative institutions and authorities? In the second chapter of his book, Schnaudt clarifies the general meaning and nature of the concept political confidence and elaborates on the conceptual and theoretical underpinnings of the distinction between confidence in representative and regulative institutions and authorities. The author identifies specific features that characterize the essence of political confidence and demarcate it from adjacent and related concepts such as interpersonal trust or political support. Based on his general understanding of the concept, Schnaudt develops three different conceptions of political confidence and elaborates on the respective nature and underlying logic of each of them. The author presents a one-dimensional and a two-dimensional conception as well as a typology of political confidence, all of which differ with respect to the question as to whether a distinction between confidence in representative and regulative institutions and authorities might further enlighten our understanding about the relevance of political confidence for the viability of modern democracies. Following the conceptual and theoretical discussion, Schnaudt provides a careful operationalization of the concept political confidence and illustrates the empirical adequacy of each of the three conceptions developed earlier using data from several waves of the European Social Survey (ESS). The second chapter thus lays the conceptual, theoretical and empirical foundations on which political confidence is based and provides the starting point for the subsequent analysis on the respective antecedents and consequences of citizens’ confidence in representative and regulative institutions and authorities.

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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christian Schnaudt
    • 1
  1. 1.GESIS, Leibniz Institute for the Social SciencesMannheimGermany

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