Res Publica - Journal of Undergraduate Research


Across both established and newly established democracies, notions of trust in government appear to be falling. These realities prompt investigations into both the determinations of trust in government and its positive relationship to democracy. A host of literature supports institutional approach theory, posting that the overarching government system predominantly determines trust. Analyzing survey questions at the country-level across 16 countries from the World Values Survey (WVS) Waves 5 - 7, this research affirms differences in trust relating to regulative, impartial institutions, trust in political, governmental institutions, and general social trust between citizens. Further, this study finds that more democratic countries, countries with parliamentary systems of government, and a majoritarian system of elections are associated with higher levels of trust.