Institutional Trust and Policy Effectiveness in Hungary

Short Title


Full Title

Institutional Trust and Policy Effectiveness in Hungary

Brief Description

The project deals with institutional trust as a crucial component of legitimacy and policy effectiveness. It includes both theoretical and empirical research.

Research Period


Research Type

Team project

Research Monitoring Body

National Research Council (OTKA)

Project Supervisor

Zsolt Boda

Project Manager

Zsolt Boda


Attila Bartha, Gergő Medve-Bálint, Gábor Pál, Gabriella Szabó

External Researchers

György Gajduschek           


Zsolt Boda (


National Research Council (OTKA)

Research Summary

The research programme deals with institutional trust as a crucial component of legitimacy and policy effectiveness. The results of the research may have practical relevance, since several studies have demonstrated that ineffective public policy destroys the trust of the public in political and state institutions. And vice versa: institutions which are trusted function more effectively than others, because citizens cooperate more easily with trusted institutions. Trust in institutions is generally believed to depend on the two basic variable of perceived effectiveness (output) and perceived fairness (the normative dimension) of the institutional functioning. Our project analyses in detail the components of institutional trust, in both theoretical and empirical terms. Theoretical part of the research deals with the notion of public trust and related concepts like legitimacy, allegiance, cooperation etc. Here the basic research questions are the following: How can we conceptualize those notions in relation to each other? How can we interpret their role in effective governance? What are the conditions of trust and legitimacy in terms of the motivation of individual actors, and institutional arrangements? Empirical research uses a methodological mix, including survey analysis, case studies, and focus group research with the aim of conceptualizing the roots, the trends and various patterns of institutional trust in Hungary. However, international cases dealing with the issue of trust-based policy effectiveness are also of interest for the project. Moreover, while the project has a local focus, it obviously includes a comparative dimension as well. And it obviously has the ambition of contributing to a general model of trust-based policy making.