The centre–periphery dimension and trust in politicians: the case of Norway

Scholars have often studied social, political and economic factors affecting trust. This article considers the relationship between spatial location and trust in politicians. We hypothesise that the centre‒periphery framework developed by Stein Rokkan has explanatory value for the study of trust in politicians. By using multilevel regression analysis on a large-N survey on a crucial case (Norway), the article controls for the urban‒rural divide and cultural, institutional, political and economic factors at both the individual and municipal levels. Our findings indicate that spatial location manifests itself as a unique explanatory variable and that the peripheral regional location (i.e., distance from the political centre) matters more for spatial differences in trust in politicians than the urban‒rural divide. The spatial dimension of political trust could be considered as an additional factor for explaining differences in trust in politicians.

Keywords: political trust; geography; centre; periphery; trust in politicians; urban; rural; distance; Norway

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The Centre-Periphery Dimension and Trust in Politicians The Case of Norway (AM)

To cite this article: Jonas Stein, Marcus Buck & Hilde Bjørnå (2019): The centre–periphery
dimension and trust in politicians: the case of Norway, Territory, Politics, Governance, DOI:

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