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AbstractAmericans have become less trusting of their federal government since the late 1950s. Most accounts of trust in government are based upon the performance of the economy. I argue that two additional factors are essential for understanding the sharp fall in trust in government in recent...
AbstractWhy has Congress, once a widely trusted institution, experienced such a uniquely dramatic decline in the public’s confidence, and what are the consequences for democracy? This article sets out to systematically address these questions. First, I discuss how we can gauge Americans’ levels...
AbstractThis paper argues that distrust in government is not an inadvertent byproduct of economic change, scandals, and cultural and identity politics, but rather grows out of strategic efforts to promote and harness it for political purposes. Elites encouraging distrust interact with grassroots...
AbstractThe early 2000s has witnessed the rise of a new phenomenon in public opinion, polarized political trust. By polarized, I mean that those who identify with the party opposite the president express much less trust in government than those who identify with the president’s party. Indeed,...
AbstractVirtually all accounts of political trust in the US regard declining trust over the past half-century to be troubling. We argue that these interpretations are in need of reassessment since they often are rooted in the normatively questionable assumption that higher trust is always...
Abstract:Woodrow Wilson, along with progressive intellectuals and reformers, bears significant responsibility for the decline of trust in government today. Wilson may have eclipsed James Madison in theory and practice, thereby contributing to the decline of trust in government. The criticism...
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