In God we trust…and Caesar too? Evaluating the link between religiosity and trust in government

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International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy


Purpose: The study aims to establish that religiosity has a positive link with government trust, making the secularization trend all the more likely to further erode this already fragile resource. Design/methodology/approach: Through the use of data from the World Values Survey and European Social Survey the link between religiosity and trust in government is examined. Findings: Religiosity and trust in government are positively linked in aggregate data. Research limitations/implications: The analysis is based on aggregated data, not individual countries, and religiosity is a complex concept to measure. Practical implications: Secularization will have a long-term negative effect on government trust. Low levels of trust in government in the West are likely here to stay, or even worsen, as populations continue to secularize. Social implications: With less trust in government, it will be more difficult to govern effectively. Originality/value: The author has not yet seen a full test on how secularization will impact trust in government. In fact, this study makes clear that the trend goes a long way explaining why trust in government has been falling in the developed world for decades.





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