Explaining trust in government during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic : about drivers of trust and their changing relevance over time
This paper investigates several drivers of trust in government to handle the COVID19 crisis in a good way during the first year of the crisis, as well as the changing relevance of such drivers over time, using data with respect to the Flemish region in Belgium from nine survey waves spread between April 2020 and May 2021. During a pandemic, the behaviour of citizens is crucial in stemming the spread of the virus. Only if citizens are willing to actually change their behaviour and comply with the new rules to stem the viral contagion, will it be possible to contain all the negative side effects on the health care system, the economy and the social fabric of society. Extant literature has shown convincing evidence that, under normal conditions, there is a positive relationship between trust and rule compliance. Similarly, trust in government is an important determinant of citizen’s compliance with public policies in times of crisis. Trust has also been highlighted as an important factor promoting compliance in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic. Considering individuals with higher levels of institutional trust (i.e., trust in government) will be more likely to comply with government measures, both in normal and crisis times, it is of high practical relevance to better understand the dynamics of trust over time and the factors that influence trust in governments: demographics, risk perception, fear, pro-socialness, etc.
Source (book)
NIG Conference 2021, Panel on Trust, Legitimacy and EU Multilevel Governance, 17-18 November 2021, Utrecht, The Netherlands
24 p.
Research group
Publication type
Publications with a UAntwerp address
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Creation 10.11.2023
Last edited 28.01.2024
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