The main objective of this workshop is to examine the interrelationship between institutional performance and political support in Europe and to discuss its consequences with a particular focus on European integration. The evidence shows that citizens in post-communist and southern European countries alike tend to place significantly less trust in their politicians and have less confidence in central government and regulative institutions such as the judicial system or the police than citizens from countries with long established democracies. At the same time, these countries are dealing with comparatively high levels of corruption as disclosed by the Corruption Perception Index which could be one of the causes. Therefore, scrutinizing the very nature of the interrelationship between institutional performance and political support will be at the center of this workshop. This approach draws primarily on theoretical as well as empirical studies on the origins of political support which are mainly politics-centred. They focus on the performance of government and the economy, and often take a top-down approach by arguing that the behaviour, image and policies of political leaders, and the way in which political institutions operate in daily life lie at the heart of the formation of political support.
1. What are the origins of effective or ineffective institutional performance (corruption, democratic development, government performance) and to which extent does it determine political support?
2. Are there any signs of eroding political support in countries where low levels of political confidence have been prevailing over a long period of time?
3. If any, what are the consequences of distinctly diverging levels of political confidence amongst European populations for the integration of the European Union?