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date: 19 April 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses the reason for the outstanding decline political trust and satisfaction with democracy (SWD) in Spain since 2008. It analyses the evolution of political attitudes between 1985 and 2018, and contrasts these with political and economic performances in Spain. It then situates the recent developments within the rest of Europe, showing that the decline in political trust and SWD has been especially pronounced in Spain, even when contrasted with other Southern European countries or Eastern Europe. Finally, we analyse an individual-level panel dataset (CIUPANEL) to put existing explanations of the recent decline to a multivariate test. We present empirical evidence which confirms that despite the initial importance of the Great Recession, evaluations of the system’s political responsiveness and political corruption are equally relevant when accounting for changes in political trust and SWD in Spain over time. We find indications that poor political performance is the main reason why political trust has remained so low, despite the economic recovery in the country.

Keywords: political trust, satisfaction with democracy, economic performance, political corruption political responsiveness

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