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Public support for government responses against COVID-19: assessing levels and predictors in eight Western democracies during 2020

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskrift/Konferencebidrag i tidsskrift /Bidrag til avisTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

In order to halt the spread of COVID-19 governments have engaged in policies that are both economically costly and involve infringements of individual rights. In democratic countries, these policy responses have elicited significant debate but little is known about the extent to which the responses are supported or opposed by the broader public. This article investigates how citizens across eight Western democracies evaluate the specific policies imposed by their governments to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. The study relies on large-scale, longitudinal surveys that are reflective of the national populations (total N = 124,062). On this basis, it is investigated how pandemic-specific and broader political attitudes correlate with support for government responses during a significant part of 2020, a period marked by pandemic restrictions in all the countries. Medium to high levels of support for the government's responses are found in all eight countries. Beyond the regular voters of the government, support is driven by individuals high in interpersonal trust and self-assessed knowledge about COVID-19. This may suggest that halting the spread of COVID-19 is viewed as a collective action problem and mobilises support from those who know how to act and who trust others to act similarly. Supplemental data for this article can be accessed online at: https://doi.org/10.1080/01402382.2021.1925821 .

OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftWest European Politics
Vol/bind44
Nummer5-6
Sider (fra-til)1129-1158
Antal sider30
ISSN0140-2382
DOI
StatusUdgivet - sep. 2021

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