Do citizens of the former Soviet Union trust state institutions, and why?

Rebecca McKee, Adrianna Murphy, Erica Richardson, Bayard Roberts, Christian Haerpfer, Martin McKee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


This study examines trust in political institutions using data from surveys in nine former Soviet countries conducted in 2001 and in 2010/2011. Four hypotheses, micro and macro cultural and institutional, are tested. A measure of generalised trust in state institutions is compared across countries, alongside interpersonal trust, to examine the macro-theories. A multi-level analysis, using both individual variables from the survey, and aggregate variables, such as press freedom, examines the micro-theories. The study confirms earlier findings that levels of trust in state institutions are low in a number of post-communist countries, although levels are increasing in some between 2001 and 2010/2011. The findings support the micro-theories, but unlike previous research that did not use a multi-level approach, they provide support for macro-institutional theory. The time dimension suggests that with committed action to enhance the performance of state institutions governments may be able to improve the levels of trust.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)377-396
Number of pages20
JournalEast European Politics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Belarus
  • Moldova
  • Russian Federation
  • Ukraine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development
  • Political Science and International Relations


Dive into the research topics of 'Do citizens of the former Soviet Union trust state institutions, and why?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this