My recent paper on the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on political trust has now been accepted at the European Journal of Political Research. I argue that anxiety in the face of rising Covid-19 has pushed standard cognitive evaluations of the political regime to the background, leading to a rally around the flag effect. Using Dutch survey data from March/April 2020, I show that rising trust is explained by increasing Covid-19 incidents. The specific lockdown measures, in contrast, have had no direct causal effect on political trust. These findings raise interesting questions for future research on the role of emotions for political trust formation in a crisis. The pre-print is available here.
My recent paper with Frank Schimmelfennig investigates the effects of opt-out votes in single EU member states on perceptions of EU regime legitimacy. We find that differentiated integration has the potential to accommodate heterogeneous preferences on EU integration, narrowing the gap in legitimacy perceptions between Eurosceptic and Europhile voters.
I am grateful that my recent article in the Swiss Political Science Review receives the 2020 Fritz Thyssen prize for the best article published in the social sciences of the German-speaking world. Some research publishes more easily, most is difficult to publish, and some gets not published at all. This piece was one of the more difficult ones. So I am even more pleased to see it winning a price. Thanks to SPSR for nominating my contribution!
In a recent project, Frank Schimmelfennig and I have analyzed the effect of differentiated integration on citizens’ perceptions of democratic legitimacy in the EU. A summary is now available on the EUROPP blog.