Drivers of Trust in Public Institutions in Finland

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Public trust is a cornerstone of the Finnish administrative and political model, it has also been a key element of Finland's successful response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Preserving and strengthening the Finnish trust capital will be of essence for facing trade-offs and challenges ahead, particularly on the recovery phase following the pandemic. Through the combination of quantitative and qualitative methods this study examines the key determinants of trust in government, the local government and the public administration in Finland. Overall, it finds that responsiveness of public services and reliability of policies are key determinants of trust in institutions in Finland.



Trust is essential to the proper functioning of democracy. It is also essential to the success of public policies and for maintaining social cohesion.As we have seen during the COVID-19 pandemic, trust makes a big difference in citizens’ willingness to comply with restrictive measures aimed at stopping the spread of the virus. High levels of institutional trust have allowed some governments to focus their efforts and resources on limiting the socioeconomic consequences of these measures, and on drawing important lessons that will help mitigate future shocks. A government’s ability to harness public trust is critical for planning and implementing an inclusive recovery from the COVID-19 crisis; and it is key to reinforcing democracy.


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