Trust in European Democracies (TrueDEM)

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Principal Investigators: Christian Haerpfer (World Values Survey Association) & Pippa Norris (Harvard University)

$: Total budget: 2 977 273.50 EUR (of which 170 375 EUR for the University of Bucharest) / European Research Executive Agency HORIZON-CL2-2022-DEMOCRACY-01, project no. 101095237, 01/01/2023 to 31/12/2025)

Partner institutions: Institute for Comparative Survey Research Vienna - Austria (leading partner), Metropolitan University Prague (Czech Republic), Grenoble Alpes University (France), Leuphana University Luneburg (Germany), University of the Peloponnese (Greece), University of Salerno (Italy), University of Silesia in Katowice (Poland), University of Bucharest (Romania), Comenius University in Bratislava (Slovakia), University of Ljubljana (Slovenia), Institute for Future Studies (Sweden), V.N.Karazin Kharkiv National University (Ukraine)

EN: Political trust has long been regarded as an important element of regime support and factor of regime stability; it is widely associated with a number of positive outcomes in representative democracies. Political trust drives citizens’ interest and engagement in politics, increases voting turnout and makes law-abiding behavior more common. Political trust is frequently equated to diffuse regime support and thus linked to the effective functioning and stability of the political system. The proposed research effort will monitor the structural (long-term) drivers of political trust but also emphasize the strategies which can be employed by diverse actors and agencies to strengthen accurate and informed judgments of agency trustworthiness. The objective of this ambitious project is twofold. First, we aim to design and implement a complex research effort to collect comprehensive evidence on the judgments of trustworthiness in a range of European states. Second, the project will develop a comprehensive and transparent toolbox of short-term and long-term policy interventions including recommendations, and methodologies for enhancing trust in political institutions, boosting transparency, and inclusiveness of representative systems in Europe. While there is a growing concern about the crisis of democracy and democratic backsliding, this research effort will provide an innovative theoretical perspective on the sources of regime support and strategies for trust building in the public domain. The project looks at the different drivers of 'positive high trust in democracy' and 'negative high trust in autocracy'. The project will facilitate development of a new paradigm of political trust and trust-building and will inspire emergence of new insights on the multi-facet origins of political trust and multi-factor nature of trustworthiness. The project has partners in Austria, Czechia, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, and Ukraine.


Country manager - Romania: Claudiu TUFIȘ (Faculty of Political Science, University of Bucharest)

Research team at the University of Bucharest: Luciana Alexandra GHICA (Faculty of Political Science, University of Bucharest), Bogdan Mihai RADU (Faculty of Political, Administrative and Communication Sciences, Babeș-Bolyai University Cluj-Napoca & Faculty of Political Science, University of Bucharest), Claudiu TUFIȘ (Faculty of Political Science, University of Bucharest)