The Role of Experts in Crisis Management and Public Trust
The Role of Experts in Crisis Management and Public Trust: Evidence from a public survey across four European countries
Stella Ladi (Panteion University/Queen Mary)
Discussant: George Pagoulatos (Athens University of Economics and Business/ELIAMEP)
Abstract: While experts are at the forefront of government efforts to manage the COVID-19 pandemic, little research has been done on how expert involvement has affected levels of public trust towards crisis-management policies. Employing a public opinion survey conducted across four European countries, Germany, Greece, Sweden and the UK we show that all four countries experienced an increase in public trust towards experts and evidence-informed policies during the pandemic’s first year. The analysis attributes this increase to the technocratic legitimacy thesis and not to a “rally-round-the-flag” effect as most of the literature suggests. The paper offers insights into how expert input affects public trust during crises and on whether citizens favour expert involvement in policymaking during such periods. Our analysis holds lessons for politicians by demonstrating how evidence-informed policies can aid them to regain public trust during and after crises.
This event is part of a series on Modern Greek Studies co-organised by the BSA and the Greek Politics Specialist Group. Organised by Eirini Karamouzi (University of Sheffield) and Lamprini Rori (University of Exeter) and hosted by the British School at Athens.