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A Return of Trust? Future of Democracy 01.2020 May 2020.

Vehrkamp, Robert and Bischoff, Lars (2020) A Return of Trust? Future of Democracy 01.2020 May 2020. [Policy Paper]

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    The initial phase of the corona crisis has led to a significant improvement in the levels of confidence that Germans have in their state and government. More than two-thirds of all people in Germany currently regard the state as being “rather strong” or “very strong.” This means that the level of trust has risen by 23 percentage points since the end of 2019. At the same time, less than a quarter (23%) still think the state is “rather weak” or “very weak.” That is only about half as many people as at the end of 2019. In addition, more than twice as many people (49%) compared to last year, consider our government to be “strong enough,” and only half as many currently view the political system and political stability as weaknesses. Satisfaction with the government has also reached a high level as compared to other countries. Thus, the initial phase of combating the pandemic has led to a massive return of trust in the state’s and the government’s ability to act. The current trust levels are the highest seen in more than twenty years. Although there was still talk at the end of 2019 of an “erosion of trust,” public sentiment has turned completely around during the first phase of the crisis. But how stable are these figures? In any case, one thing is certain: The measured confidence levels are situation-related “performance evaluations.” In other words, they depict sentiments related to an ongoing event. If the assessed event changes, trust levels can also change again. In the process, short-term setbacks are just as imaginable as further consolidation or improvement. Therefore, the measured values represent situation-specific sentiments rather than basic convictions independent of current events. Nevertheless, they do show that the first phase of combating the pandemic has led to a significant increase in popular trust in the government. This freshly gained capital could still be needed in subsequent phases, so it must not be carelessly squandered in the phase of initial easing that is just now beginning.

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    Item Type: Policy Paper
    Subjects for non-EU documents: EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > public health policy (including global activities)
    Countries > Germany
    EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > political affairs > public opinion
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Series: Series > Bertelsmann Stiftung/Foundation (Gutersloh, Germany) > Policy Brief
    Depositing User: Daniel Pennell
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 29 Sep 2020 10:21
    Number of Pages: 8
    Last Modified: 29 Sep 2020 10:21

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