Institutional Context and Accountability for Political Distrust

Posted on 13.05.2022 - 14:07

This project investigates how voters hold government electorally accountable for perceived untrustworthiness, and particularly how this accountability is conditioned by institutional context. Studies show that political distrust is associated at least as much with attitudes toward the legislative branch as with attitudes toward the executive. With this in mind, I consider two contextual factors. First, whether a party that controls both branches of government may affect the degree to which its candidates face electoral accountability for distrust in government. Second, whether voters who are being asked to elect a representative to the legislative branch as opposed to the executive may affect which institution’s ruling party is more likely to be held accountable. I analyze these relationships using survey data from the American National Election Study covering over half a century. The results demonstrate that institutional context conditions both when and whom voters hold accountable for their distrust in government.


Jones, David R. (2020): Institutional Context and Accountability for Political Distrust. SAGE Journals. Collection.
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