PhD project: The conditionality of evaluative-based political trust

This project studies the policy-feedback link between perceptions of government performance and political trust. Conventional wisdom suggests that government performance drives trust. Those who are unsatisfied with the performance of the current government are likely to hold less political trust. This punishment-reward mechanism, however, becomes more complex when government responsibilities are unclear. Furthermore, citizens vary greatly in their experiences with and opinions of government performance, which challenges a universal reward-punishment mechanism.

For my PhD, I study the heterogeneity between and within citizens with respect to evaluative-based political trust. I disentangle the conditions affecting the relationship between government performance evaluations and political trust including perceptions of responsibility, clarity of responsibility, personal experiences with policies, and relative salience of policy issues. For this purpose, I employ a wide array of Dutch, Norwegian and International data sources including the Dutch Local Election Studies (2016, 2018), the European Election Studies (2009), the TNS NIPO panel (2017), the European Social Survey (2016), CBS register data. The PhD project is part of the NWO TOP-project on the ‘Democratic Challenge’.

Supervisors: Prof. Wouter van der Brug & Prof. Tom W.G. van der Meer


Welfare State Legitimacy in Times of Crisis and Between Continuity and Change

Book project: Bart Meuleman, Wim van Oorschot and Tijs Laenen (eds.)

This edited volume sheds light on the question how public opinion has reacted to the economic recession and the consequent welfare reforms. To that end, the chapters in this book compare data from the European Social Survey (ESS) welfare attitudes module of 2008/09 (i.e. the beginning of the crisis) with the most recent data collection of 2016/17. The chapter I co-author with Staffan Kumlin and Atle Haugsgjerd (UiO) focuses on welfare state performance and political trust. The book will be published by Edward Elgar Publishing in 2020.


Role Orientations and Preferences for Direct Democracy of Dutch Local Councilors

This project builds on a unique survey among all Dutch councilors asking about their legitimacy beliefs, their attitudes towards direct democracy and their perceived role orientation (trustee/delegate). This project is in collaboration with Sarah de Lange (UvA).