Democracy and Political Trust Before and After the Great Recession 2008: The European Union and the United Nations

  • Bruno ArpinoEmail author
  • Anastassia V. Obydenkova
Original Research


The paper investigates the change in the impact of democracy on political trust in national and international institutions, the European Union (EU) and to the United Nations (UN), after the start of the Great Recession 2008. Based on empirical evidence, the paper argues that the impact of the level of democracy on national trust is different from its impact on international trust post-crisis 2008, despite having been similar before 2008. Overall trend is in line with previous findings on decrease in trust to political institutions. In addition to these findings, this paper also demonstrates that the impact of democracy on trust in international institutions has changed radically after the start of the Great Recession. These findings are important for studies on political trust and democracy, on the consequences of the Great Recession, as well as for the comparative research on regional versus global institutions, such as the EU and the UN.


Democracy International institutions Political trust Great Recession Public opinion National parliaments European Union United Nations 



We are grateful for Fung Global Program of the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies at Princeton University and to the colleagues from the Davis Center for Eurasian and Russian Studies at Harvard Universities for their comments and feedback on this research. We thank three anonymous reviewers of Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement for their excellent feedback on this project and their suggestions. Opinions and mistakes in this paper are sole responsibility of the authors.

Supplementary material

11205_2019_2204_MOESM1_ESM.doc (112 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 113 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dipartimento di Statistica, Informatica, Applicazioni ‘G. Parenti’ (DiSIA)Università degli Studi di Firenze – UniFIFlorenceItaly
  2. 2.Institut Barcelona d’Estudis Internacionals (IBEI)BarcelonaSpain
  3. 3.National Research University - Higher School of Economics (NRU-HSE)MoscowRussia
  4. 4.Institute for Economic Analysis Spanish National Research Council (IAE-CSIC)BarcelonaSpain

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