Swiss Political Science Association (SPSA)
Annual Congress 2025

Exploring and enhancing trust in politics

Trust in politics and political institutions is waning among citizens in liberal democracies. However, trust in government and governance serves as the cornerstone for the legitimacy and functioning of a political system, thereby constituting a fundamental prerequisite of democracy. There has been a mounting concern across the subfields of political science about the conditions under which trust emerges, the practices and institutions that consolidate trust and protect it against various transient and structural challenges, as well as the ways in which trust nourishes and enables governance and government. Such concerns have emerged in the analysis of domestic politics in liberal democracies and beyond in the study of International Relations and European integration – the topic cuts across debates in social science methodology and, of course, takes center stage in the field of political theory. This annual congress of the Swiss Political Science Association proposes the topic of trust in politics as its guiding theme.