Rally 'round the Flag: The COVID-19 Crisis and Trust in the National Government

Author(s)
Sylvia Kritzinger, Martial Foucault, Romain Lachat, Julia Partheymüller, Carolina Plescia, Sylvain Brouard
Abstract

During international crises, trust in government is expected to increase irrespective of the wisdom of the policies it pursues. This has been called a ‘rally-round-the-flag’ effect. This article examines whether the COVID-19 crisis has resulted in such a rally effect. Using multi-wave panel surveys conducted in Austria and France starting from March 2020, in the article it is examined how government trust was affected by the perceived threats to the nation’s health and economy created by the pandemic as well as by the perceived appropriateness of the government’s crisis response. A strong rally effect is shown in Austria, where trust was closely tied to perceived health risks, but faded away quickly over time. Perceptions of government measures mattered, too, while perceived economic threat only played a minor role. In France, in contrast, a strong partisan divide is found and no rally effect.

Organisation(s)
Department of Government
External organisation(s)
Institut d’études politiques de Paris
Journal
West European Politics
Volume
44
Pages
1205-1231
No. of pages
27
ISSN
0140-2382
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1080/01402382.2021.1925017
Publication date
09-2021
Peer reviewed
Yes
Austrian Fields of Science 2012
506012 Political systems, 504007 Empirical social research, 303011 Health policy
Keywords
ASJC Scopus subject areas
Political Science and International Relations
Portal url
https://ucris.univie.ac.at/portal/en/publications/rally-round-the-flag-the-covid19-crisis-and-trust-in-the-national-government(ed1c418d-066a-48ff-a9ab-e89b4acccd0c).html