Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
Mandatory Fields
O'Sullivan, S., Healy, A, and Breen, M.
Irish Political Studies
‘Political Legitimacy in Ireland during Economic Crisis: Insights from the European Social Survey’
Optional Fields
political legitimacy, trust, democracy, economic recession, European Social Survey, Ireland.
Since the 2008 economic crisis, there has been upheaval across Europe. In Ireland, the collapse of the banking, construction and property sectors, and the 2010 EU/IMF loan and attached austerity conditions resulted in a dramatic election in 2011 that saw the removal of the dominant political party from power. Ireland provides an important case study to examine political legitimacy given the perceived culpability of political authorities in the recession and the effects of austerity on the population’s welfare. In this paper we examine data from the European Social Survey (ESS) over a ten year period (2002-2012) to ascertain the impact of the crisis on political legitimacy. We measure change in trust in political institutions, satisfaction with government and the link between social trust and political legitimacy. The analysis is repeated separating ‘winners’ (those who voted for the parties in power) from ‘losers’ (those who did not vote for the parties in power). We find that trust in political institutions and satisfaction with government have declined since 2008. However, while satisfaction with government is increasing since the 2011 election, trust in government continues to decline. Social trust is only declining for those who did not vote for the parties in power.
Grant Details