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TrueDem - Trust in European Democracies




1.1.2023 - 31.12.2025


prof.dr. Alenka Krašovec


Political trust has long been regarded as an important element of regime support and factor of regime stability; it is widely associated with a number of positive outcomes in representative democracies. Political trust drives citizens’ interest and engagement in politics, increases voting turnout and makes law-abiding behaviour more common. Political trust is frequently equated to diffuse regime support and thus linked to the effective functioning and stability of the political system. The proposed research effort will monitor the structural (long-term) drivers of political trust but also emphasize the strategies which can be employed by diverse actors and agencies to strengthen accurate and informed judgments of agency trustworthiness. The objective of this ambitious project is twofold. First, we aim to design and implement a complex research effort to collect comprehensive evidence on the judgments of trustworthiness in a range of European states. Second, the project will develop a comprehensive and transparent toolbox of short-term and long-term policy interventions including recommendations, and methodologies for enhancing trust in political institutions, boosting transparency, and inclusiveness of representative systems in Europe. While there is a growing concern about the crisis of democracy and democratic backsliding, this research effort will provide an innovative theoretical perspective on the sources of regime support and strategies for trust building in the public domain. The project looks at the different drivers of 'positive high trust in democracy' and 'negative high trust in autocracy'. The project will facilitate development of a new paradigm of political trust and trust-building and will inspire emergence of new insights on the multi-facet origins of political trust and multi-factor nature of trustworthiness. The project has partners in Austria, Czechia, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, and Ukraine.

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