Determinants of Trust in Institutions in Kosovo: An empirical perspective

October 30, 2017


Erëza Pula
economics, foreign direct investment, good governance

Public trust in political institutions is crucial for the proper functioning of the democratic, social and economic processes in a society. Citizen perceptions of public institutions are directly shaped by the output and performance of these institutions, while, in turn, increased trust generally supports and validates democratic legitimacy and institutional effectiveness. Kosovo, as a newly independent country, has undergone many political transformations and democratic developments. Even though the international actors have transferred authority overtime to progressively increase the autonomy of national bodies, Kosovo’s still fragile institutions continue struggling to function within the new political structures. In transitional countries, citizens generally express low levels of support and trust towards specific institutions and ‘explicitly mistrust their executive institutions’. Kosovar citizens have a moderate level of trust in the international rule of law institutions, whereas they express lower levels of trust in local institutions, such as parliament and government. More precisely, Kosovars’ low levels of trust in the parliament suggest that the latter does not sufficiently represent the society in Kosovo. In fact, the share of citizens who think that the parliament does not mirror Kosovo’s society is around 41%, as expressed by a survey conducted in 2013. Another survey suggests that Kosovars, in general, are also not very satisfied with the government. More precisely, over 35% of the respondents expressed dissatisfaction with the government, and over 70% believed that its performance towards fighting corruption was poor and not effective. Given these findings, it is of crucial importance to further investigate and analyze factors which both positively and negatively affect the levels of trust in institutions, in order to identify and develop mechanisms for generating increased democratic and political trust in Kosovo. This empirical study will be structured as follows: Section II will examine theories on institutional trust from which various hypotheses will be established. Section III will concentrate on the employed methodology and will analyze data and variables of interest. Section IV will reflect on the diagnostics and fit of the model in order to assess the explanatory power of the established hypothesis. Section V will analyse the main findings of the multivariate analysis, while the last section will conclude by summarizing the most important findings relevant to Kosovo and will provide a set of recommendations which can contribute to policy-making geared towards generating higher levels of trust in institutions.


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Determinants of Trust in Institutions in Kosovo: An empirical perspective

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