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Title: Does one trust judgement fit all? Linking theory and empirics
Authors: Fisher, J
van Heerde, J
Tucker, A
Keywords: Trust;Political parties;Politicians
Issue Date: 2010
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
Citation: British Journal of Politics and International Relations, 12(2), 161 - 188, 2010
Abstract: Few questions in political science have received more attention in recent times than the role of trust in democracy, democratic government and political participation. In Britain this has become a particular concern as levels of democratic engagement in traditional politics have declined, exacerbated by media reports of politicians' untrustworthy behaviour. A common feature of previous empirical work on political trust is that trust is treated as a single theoretical concept. Scholars have assumed that trust operates in a similar fashion across different political institutions—that citizens' trust mechanisms are the same for trusting parliament, the prime minister or the European Union. As a consequence, the operationalisation of trust has generally been through a single measure. In this article we draw on recent research from political theory, where different forms of judgements whether to trust—strategic, moral and deliberative—have been conceptualised, to argue that trust judgements may vary in application and significance depending upon the institution under examination. Using specially designed data sets generated from YouGov's weekly omnibus and the British Election Study's Continuous Monitoring Panel, we operationalise these three forms of trust judgements to examine trust in two British institutions—political parties and politicians. We find, as hypothesised, that different forms of trust judgements are of differing significance depending upon the institution under consideration.
Description: Copyright @ 2010 The Authors. This is the accepted version of the following article: Fisher, J., Van Heerde, J. and Tucker, A. (2010), Does One Trust Judgement Fit All? Linking Theory and Empirics. The British Journal of Politics & International Relations, 12: 161–188, which has been published in final form at
ISSN: 1369-1481
Appears in Collections:Politics and International Relations
Dept of Politics, History and Law Research Papers

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