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The ‘Us’ in Trust: Who Trusts Northern Ireland's Political Institutions and Actors?


This article examines levels of interest and trust among the public in relation to Northern Ireland's newly established political institutions and actors, through an analysis of the results of the 2007 Northern Ireland Life and Times Survey (NILT). It is important to reveal the specific groups of people with the highest levels of political disenchantment, particularly in the context of the longer-term stability of the Northern Ireland Assembly and Executive, since the willingness of the electorate to have faith and trust in the workability of these political institutions and in the various political actors in whose custody they lie is considered vital.

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Jan Delhe and Kenneth Newton , ‘Who Trusts?: The Origins of Social Trust in Seven Societies’, European Societies, 5: 2 (2003), pp. 93137

Paul Dixon , ‘Political Skills or Lying and Manipulation? The Choreography of the Northern Ireland Peace Process’, Political Studies, 50: 4 (2002), pp. 725–41

Margaret Levi and Laura Stoker , ‘Political Trust and Trustworthiness’, Annual Review of Political Science, 3 (2000), pp. 475507

Charles Tilly , ‘Trust and Rule’, Theory and Society, 33 (2004), pp. 130

Cera Murtagh , ‘A Transient Transition: The Cultural and Institutional Obstacles Impeding the Northern Ireland Women's Coalition in its Progression from Informal to Formal Politics’, Irish Political Studies, 23: 1 (2008), pp. 2140

Fidelma Ashe , ‘The Virgin Mary Connection: Reflecting on Feminism and Northern Irish Politics’, Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy, 9: 4 (2006), pp. 573–88

Ian McAlister , ‘“The Armalite and the Ballot Box”: Sinn Fein's Electoral Strategy in Northern Ireland’, Electoral Studies, 23: 1 (2004), pp. 123–42

Paul Webb , ‘The Continuing Advance of the Minor Parties’, Parliamentary Affairs, 58: 4 (2005), pp. 757–75

Graham Spencer , ‘Sinn Fein and the Media in Northern Ireland: The New Terrain of Policy Articulation’, Irish Political Studies, 21: 3 (2006), pp. 355–82

Jocelyn Evans and Jonathan Tonge , ‘The Future of the “Radical Centre” in Northern Ireland After the Good Friday Agreement’, Political Studies, 51: 1 (2003), pp. 2650

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Government and Opposition
  • ISSN: 0017-257X
  • EISSN: 1477-7053
  • URL: /core/journals/government-and-opposition
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