When examining country levels of generalized social trust, much of the explanation can be found in the degree of corruption and economic inequality in these countries. Low-quality governments and social systems appear to have massive negative effects on the welfare and health of modern societies, and at the same time, on levels of generalized social trust. Based on prior comparative studies, there are clear links between generalized social trust, on the one hand, and corruption and economic inequality on the other.
While trust in the media has decreased as a whole, Trump has also given the decline in trust in the media a distinctly politically partisan dimension. In other words, news outlets and audiences are even more strongly polarized, left to their own reinforced frames and narratives. This will make it harder for the citizenry to willingly receive multiple viewpoints without conflicting personal or reporting bias. The consequences of decreased trust and increasing distrust in the media radiates into the society more broadly through the erosion of civil discourse that could be commonly shared. This risks political paralysis and attempts to restore shared social trust.
There is only one year ahead of us before the EU citizens will again have the opportunity to elect their national representatives to the world’s only directly elected supranational political chamber, the European Parliament (EP). This will be the ninth EP-election, but post-Brexit the number of MEPs elected will drop from 751 to 705. The election takes place during May 23–26, 2019 and the outcome will affect the direction of the EU for the following five years.