Rebuilding confidence. From the politics of distrust to a democracy of trust

Contenuto principale dell'articolo

Franco Maria Di Sciullo
Lidia Lo Schiavo
Giulio Salerno
Maurizio Serio


Although trust plays a fundamental role in complex societies as an effective form of complexity reduction, both political science and politics became increasingly aware of a growing distrust in democratic political systems as in EU democratic governance. The delegation of decision-making processes which are relocated from the national dimension to the supra-national sphere, has affected the balance between input and output legitimacy, that in turn produced a sort of trade-off between effectiveness and trust. It was felt as manifestation of democratic deficit of supranational-intergovernmental institutions. However, this legitimation crisis seems to be connected with the characters of the political arena, more than with the institutional framework. In particular, a representation deficit (instead of – or in addition to – democratic deficit), should be mentioned among the consequences of limited participation of European citizens in decision making processes. We maintain that trust should be distinguished from confidence and that a long-lasting loss of trust causes an erosion in confidence in the general functioning of the system. If people become disillusioned with the perceived performance of democratic governments, over successive administrations, then in time this might erode their belief in democracy itself.

Dettagli dell'articolo

Come citare
Di Sciullo , F. M. ., Lo Schiavo, L., Salerno, G., & Serio, M. (2021). Rebuilding confidence. : From the politics of distrust to a democracy of trust. Power and Democracy, 3(1), 5–25. Recuperato da
Sezione Monografica