Declining Trust in Politics : what can be done about it?

Declining Trust in Politics : what can be done about it?

This Social Sciences Week event is presented by the Research School of Social Sciences (RSSS) and the School of Politics and International Relations at the Australian National University.

There has been a dramatic decline in the Australian public’s trust in politics and politicians for more than a decade. While the public’s disaffection with politics has not declined to the level of some other countries, restoring faith in politics has to be a major priority. Declining public trust and its potential threat for democracy has many drivers, but can be directly related to the quality and performance of a country’s leaders and elected representatives. Democratic innovations and greater public engagement within traditional representative democracy are therefore presented as potential solutions, together with more radical alternatives. 

This presentation outlines the empirical evidence for declining trust in politics, using the ANU’s Australian Election Study surveys conducted since 1987.

The presentation will then consider possible ways in which public trust could be restored, ranging from the introduction of voting advice applications to changes in political institutions.

Date & time

Thu 12 Sep 2019, 5.30–6.30pm


Allan Barton Theatre Level 2, CBE Building 26C ANU


Prof Ian McAllister
Prof Patrick Dumont


Prof Ian McAllister


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