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Do leopards ever change their spots? The development of political trust among Swedish Green Party sympathisers

Journal article
Authors Daniel Berlin
Lennart J Lundqvist
Published in Environmental Politics
Volume 21
Issue 1
Pages 131-152
ISSN 0964-4016
Publication year 2012
Published at Department of Political Science
Pages 131-152
Language en
Keywords political trust, green parties, Sweden
Subject categories Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)


Although starting out as a protest movement in the early 1980s, the Swedish Greens moved to become a contractual supporter of Social Democratic governments from 1998 to 2006, and then became an active partner of the Red–Green Coalition seeking parliamentary power in the 2010 general elections. Against the background of lingering strife between ‘fundis’ and ‘realos’ in Green parties, national survey data is used to analyse how this shift from anti- to pro-system party has affected political trust among Swedish Green sympathisers. Although the general level of political trust among Green sympathisers goes up during the period of ever closer cooperation with the Social Democrats, the effect of being a Green Party sympathiser remains negatively associated with political trust regardless of proximity to power. Possible explanations of this pattern, which seems exclusively attached to former anti-parties, are discussed.

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