Loss of confidence in government leaders
Other Names: Untrustworthy politicians
Citizen mistrust of politicians
Disenchantment with government
Disillusionment with government
Unpopular government leaders
Pervasive distrust of government
Mistrust of government
Mistrust of political structures
Questioned acceptance of public officials
Distrust of civil authority
Nature: The legitimacy of a government leader depends on the trust invested by the public. This trust in turn depends on the values of the society and the leader's perceived ability to live up to these values. When this trust is violated, or when values change, the public becomes increasingly alienated from politicians.
Incidence: In the USA a major shift occurred with the discovery that President Nixon had lied about Watergate. In Japan such a shift occurred with recognition of Prime Minister Takeshita's involvement in the Recruit shares scandal. In Europe in 1993 public opinion polls indicate that citizens are rapidly losing faith in their governments, notably in the UK, in Spain, in Germany, in France, and in Italy. A study in the USA in 1992 found that 70% of the population never trusted the government to do what was right or trusted it only on occasion.
Problem Type: F: Fuzzy exceptional problems
Date of last update 24.01.2000 – 00:00 CET