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Antecedents of Political Confidence

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

Abstract

What are the respective antecedents of individual citizens’ confidence in representative and regulative institutions and authorities? In the third chapter of his book, Schnaudt analyzes whether the sources of citizens’ confidence in representative and regulative institutions and authorities are the same or rather different ones. For this purpose, the author relies on the most widely used explanations of political confidence in the literature—namely social capital, institutional-performance evaluations, and political involvement—and examines their respective relevance and explanatory power with regard to a one-dimensional and a two-dimensional conception as well as a typology of political confidence. Using the same group of explanatory accounts for different conceptions and types of political confidence, Schnaudt is able to determine whether one and the same set of antecedents is related differently to citizens’ confidence in representative and regulative institutions and authorities. In his empirical analysis based on individual-level data from the European Social Survey (ESS), the author shows that different facets of social capital, institutional-performance evaluations, and political involvement exert a varying influence on citizens’ confidence in representative and regulative institutions and authorities, respectively. The chapter’s main conclusion is that citizens’ decision to place confidence in representative institutions and authorities depends on a different set of factors than their corresponding decision to place confidence in regulative institutions and authorities. According to the author, it is therefore clearly misleading to assume that political confidence is a coherent, one-dimensional syndrome that emanates from one identical pool of antecedents.

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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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