In the media
UNU-WIDER expert interviewed on COVID-19 impacts on trust in governments in Finnish development magazine

UNU-WIDER Senior Research Fellow Patricia Justino discusses the impact of COVID-19 on trust in governance in the latest issue of Finnish development magazine Kehitys (Development).

The article, ‘The coronavirus pandemic undermines confidence in governments’, cites results from the Life with Corona survey, which indicate that confidence in public administration has declined worldwide during the pandemic.

Patricia Justino argues that governments that have been able to curb the spread of the coronavirus and at the same time revive the economy have managed to maintain confidence in the public eye. This is the reason she thinks that Finnish government has come off relatively lightly in the pandemic — though not entirely intact. The results from the survey show that the Finnish public’s confidence in the government weakened by 14 percentage points during the summer of 2020. But despite this, Finland remained one of the top countries with a high rate of public confidence due to the country's high score before the pandemic.

Based on the survey results Justino is particularly concerned about Latin American countries as well as the UK. She explains how lack of trust can directly affect the COVID-19 infection rates. If the government is not trusted and its quarantine recommendations are not being followed, the virus will continue to spread.

Justino expresses concern over the increase of protests in Africa, which is linked to the generally low levels of confidence in governments there. The situation is aggravated by the pandemic and the realities faced by the citizens of sub-Saharan cities, of whom only a small proportion are able to properly self-quarantine.

Read the full article online (in Finnish)

Take the Life with Corona survey here