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The European Union and Beyond

Political Trust in Greece

Eleni Stathopoulou
National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Eleni Stathopoulou
National and Kapodistrian University of Athens

This article examines how trust in the political system has evolved over the last thirty years in Greece. Based on theoretical and empirical research, the first part of analysis focuses on how political trust in different levels - following the Eastonian schema - develops through time. The empirical evidence is based on Eurobarometer’s surveys, CNEP surveys and surveys conducted from the Greek National Centre for Social Research (EKKE). Subsequent sections of the paper analyses support especially for Greek political institutions (political parties, parliament, and the Cabinet), and democratic processes too. The primary goal is to trace the main political, economic and social factors driving the dynamics of support for the representative actors of the Greek political system. The time frame is divided in two distinctive eras, the first indicating the establishment of the party system with the rise of Papandreou’s PASOK in the Cabinet (1981) and the second starting in 1996, a period characterised, from most scholars, as the second “Metapolitefsi (regime change)”, featuring the development of political parties to cartel parties, the efforts towards an institutional modernisation and an economic miracle followed by an economic downfall. Concluding we consider consequences for declining trends in trust in political parties, politicians and government over time.
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