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Inter-level trust in a multi-level political system

Journal article
Authors David Karlsson
Published in Scandinavian Political Studies
Volume 4
Issue 3
Pages 289–311
ISSN 0080-6757
Publication year 2017
Published at School of Public Administration
Pages 289–311
Language en
Keywords multilevel democracy, politics, representative democracy, political representatives, local government, regional government, the riksdag, Kommun- och landstingsfullmäktigeundersökningen, KOLFU, Riksdagsundersökningen, RDU, offentlig förvaltning
Subject categories Political Science, Public Administration Studies


The aim of this article is to study political representatives in a multi-level government system and their level of political trust in relation to institutions in their own and other tiers of government. The results show that two factors are essential for understanding variations in their trust: Representatives tend to trust institutions in other tiers less than those in their own tier (the tier-association effect), and they trust institutions more where their own party is in a governing position (the home-team effect). Of the two, the home-team effect is by far the most dominant factor. Multiple-mandates serve to increase inter-level trust, but divided loyalties possibly make representatives with multiple-mandates less trusting towards political institutions in their own tiers than more partisan single-mandate representatives. The study builds on data from surveys conducted among all elected representatives in Sweden in 2012 (local and regional councillors) and 2014 (national MPs).

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Utskriftsdatum: 2019-10-18