Participation or Satisfaction? Examining Determinants of Trust in Local Government

Annelin Gustavsen, Jon Pierre, Asbjørn Røiseland


Trust is an essential part of a legitimate political system. Based on data collected among Norwegian citizens, this article investigates the effects on trust in local politicians by influence on versus satisfaction with local services. The theoretical base for the article is the two differing theories which argue that citizens either regard themselves as consumers or citizens of (local) government. The article argues that people, when evaluating trust towards local politics, tend to apply consumer-oriented factors to a greater extent than citizen-oriented factors. However, we do not find support for a claim that customer-oriented factors have replaced citizen-oriented factors as such. Thus we argue that the two considerations appear to be complimentary rather than mutually exclusive.

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Scandinavian Journal of Public Administration

School of Public Administration, Box 712 - SE-405 30 Göteborg

ISSN: 2001-7405, E-ISSN: 2001-7413