Bertelsmann Stiftung (ed.)

Declining Trust in Politics and Parties.

A Threat to Social Cohesion? English Summary

Format Type
Date of publication
1. edition
6 pages, PDF


Free of charge


“Trust in social and political institutions” is one of nine dimensions underlying the Bertelsmann Stiftung’s empirical measure of social cohesion. Although the studies we have conducted in recent years have shown that social cohesion in Germany as a whole remains strong, an examination of individual dimensions delivers more differentiated findings. “Trust in institutions” in particular has proven to be a dimension with rather low values. This finding is especially significant in view of the growing populism in Germany. The two sub-studies summarized in this brochure thus concentrate on this aspect of social cohesion. They examine the current situation in the country in terms of people’s willingness to support democracy and their trust in political institutions, particularly political parties. The first study, Muster regionaler Demokratieunterstützung in Deutschland 2017 (Regional Patterns of Support for Democracy in Germany 2017), by Tom Mannewitz (TU Chemnitz) and Erik Vollmann (FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg), explores the different forms of support for democracy in Germany’s states. The second study, Gesundes Misstrauen oder Vertrauenskrise? (Healthy Skepticism or Crisis of Confidence?), by Rainer Faus and Simon Storks (both of the pollytix consulting firm), sheds light on the reasons for lower levels of trust.

This is the English summary. The full study is available only in German: Schwindendes Vertrauen in Politik und Parteien. Eine Gefahr für den gesellschaftlichen Zusammenhalt?

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