Core research

European Social Survey

The European Social Survey is an academically-driven social science project designed to chart and explain the interaction between Europe's changing institutions and the attitudes, beliefs and behaviour patterns of its diverse populations.
Research period: Since the beginning of 2001
Project supervisor: Péter Róbert
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Election Pledges and Public Policy in Hungary, 1990-2014

The main goal of the project is to measure and explain the degree to which parties in Hungary have made accountable campaign promises and fulfilled them since the transition to democracy in 1990.
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The research program deals with institutional trust as a crucial component of legitimacy and policy effectiveness. The results of the research may have practical relevance, since several studies have demonstrated that ineffective public policy destroys the trust of the public in political and state institutions. And vice versa: institutions which are trusted function more effectively than others, because citizens cooperate more easily with trusted institutions. Trust in institutions is generally believed to depend on the two basic variable of perceived effectiveness (output) and perceived fairness (the normative dimension) of the institutional functioning. Our project analyses in detail the components of institutional trust, in both theoretical and empirical terms. Theoretical part of the research deals with the notion of public trust and related concepts like legitimacy, allegiance, cooperation etc. Here the basic research questions are the following: How can we conceptualize those notions in relation to each other? How can we interpret their role in effective governance? What are the conditions of trust and legitimacy in terms of the motivation of individual actors, and institutional arrangements? Empirical research uses a methodological mix, including survey analysis, case studies, and focus group research with the aim of conceptualizing the roots, the trends and various patterns of institutional trust in Hungary. However, international cases dealing with the issue of trust-based policy effectiveness are also of interest for the project. Moreover, while the project has a local focus, it includes a comparative dimension as well. And it obviously has the ambition of contributing to a general model of trust-based policy making.

The program includes now two specific projects:

FIDUCIA – New European Crimes and Trust-based Policy is an EU FP7 research project.
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Institutional Trust and Policy Effectiveness in Hungary is a project funded by the National Research Council (OTKA).
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