The Effects of Economic Crisis and Austerity Measures on Political Culture in Romania
Gabriel Bădescu, Toma Burean
In Research in Social Change, vol. 6, 2014, no. 1: 5-42.
What are the effects of economic crisis on political attitudes in Romania? This paper analyzes the level of political trust, satisfaction with democracy and generalized trust (social trust) in Romania from 1990-2012. Following research done on Euro barometer data (Armingeon and Guthmann 2012) we asserted that the economic crisis led to a decline of political trust and satisfaction with democracy. Next we hypothesized that the perceptions of individual living conditions will have a positive effect on political attitudes at the expense of perception of the national economy, political factors or sociodemographics. We used surveys from the Romanian Opinion Barometers and Romanian Electoral Data online platform from 1990 until 2012. We find remarkable stability on all political attitudes during the crisis. Satisfaction with democracy, political trust and social trust are low independent of the period of economic crisis. Perceptions of the economy overweigh political factors and sociodemographics during the crisis. Perception of present living conditions and perception of the future of the national economy are variables that impact political trust and satisfaction with democracy.