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Staffan Kumlin and Atle Haugsgjerd

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Lisanne de Blok, Atle Haugsgjerd and Staffan Kumlin

This chapter studies public evaluations of the performance of welfare state policies, with a particular focus on how such evaluations impact on ‘political trust’; that is, generalized confidence in democratic institutions. More specifically, it examines whether performance dissatisfaction increased between 2008 and 2016, given the welfare retrenchment reactions of several governments in Europe. Furthermore, it asks whether the negative effects of dissatisfaction on political trust have become stronger. With regard to both questions, the chapter analyses whether changes are more pronounced in countries and at time points more strongly exposed to the economic crises and related austerity policies.