Comparative European Politics

, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp 290–309 | Cite as

Vote, party, or protest: The influence of confidence in political institutions on various modes of political participation in Europe

  • Alexia Katsanidou
  • Christina Eder


Although the study of the relationship between political confidence and political participation has produced contradictory results thus far, it has established, nevertheless, that this relationship depends on the exact nature of the participation: voting, party engagement and protesting. On the basis of these findings, to further specify the nature of this relationship, we make a second distinction between confidence in representative and implementing institutions. We assume that context matters, so our multi-level approach includes individual level data from the 1999 to 2001 and 2008 to 2010 waves of the European Values Study (EVS), as well as national-level data. Our results show that different types of confidence in institutions have unique effects on these three modes of participation and that these findings hold over the last decade. While confidence in parliament is the key to the elite-driven modes of participation, grassroots-driven modes are triggered by a lack of confidence in the implementing institutions.


political participation confidence in political institutions multi-level analysis 


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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alexia Katsanidou
    • 1
  • Christina Eder
    • 2
  1. 1.GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social SciencesCologneGermany
  2. 2.GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social SciencesMannheimGermany

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