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Thursday, April 24, 2014
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Institutional Trust and Efficacy

Written by Frank Klobucar, GORBI

17/02/2013 20:25 (430 Day 09:59 minutes ago)

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The FINANCIAL -- Georgians are generally untrusting of most of their national institutions, such as the media, though not so much as some other ex-soviet countries. In this recent poll conducted by Georgian Opinion Research Business International, we asked respondents about their trust in a few broad categories of public institutions in their respective countries, including newspapers, TV and radio, and the police.  This trust was measured on a ten point scale, where one represents absolute distrust and ten means the respondents trusts the institution “completely.” In the asking, we discovered that Georgians trust their media, both print and broadcast, less than every other surveyed country save for Russia and Ukraine

 

On the other hand, the police enjoy a well-above-average level of faith from Georgians, most likely as a result of the massive overhaul under President Saakashvili and the resultant disappearance of low-level corruption. Only Azeris trust their police more, but then again, Azeris trust everyone more, being the most confident in all their institutions.  The only exception is how trusting the Kazakhs are of their newspapers. Ukrainian s were the least trusting of every institution, and gave their police a particularly low score (3.58).

 

 

Newspaper

TV/ radio

Police

Armenia

5.64

5.93

5.73

Azerbaijan

5.90

6.87

7.20

Belarus

5.57

5.76

6.04

Georgia

4.93

5.32

6.75

Kazakhstan

6.1

6.55

5.86

Moldova

4.97

5.59

3.96

Russia

4.67

5.14

4.46

Ukraine

4.65

5.11

3.58

 

So if people don’t like their public institutions, why don’t they take democratic action to change them?  Aside from the fact that even in the most democratically developed country in this survey still suffers from “one man show” syndrome and other major speed-bumps to democracy, it seems that the vast majority of citizens don’t feel that it’s even possible to affect change on a national level.  We asked respondents in each country to agree or disagree with the statement, “I can influence my national government.”  In total, only about 15% agreed in any sense, the rest affirming their lack of efficacy.

 

Russians had the least faith in their democracy, with 9% feeling they could influence their government, while Armenians had the most, at 21%.  Georgians had essentially the same low efficaciousness as Russians, only 10% agreed with the statement.  However, keep in mind that this poll was conducted prior to the most recent elections; Georgia is a constantly changing place, and several of these numbers may have already begun to change. 

 

“I can influence my national government”

 

 

Agree

Disagree

Armenia

21%

79%

Azerbaijan

18%

82%

Belarus

18%

82%

Georgia

10%

90%

Kazakhstan

19%

81%

Moldova

14%

86%

Russia

9%

91%

Ukraine

14%

86%

       

 

With a real and recognized democratic transition of power, Georgians may have begun to think of themselves as members of a true democracy.  With the release of thousands of prisoners, and the nearly inevitable jump in crime rates, Georgians may start doubting the police’s ability to keep them safe. So stay tuned - over the coming months GORBI will continue to conduct our regular polling, and we’ll begin to see just how these recent changes will affect Georgia’s public trust and efficacy. 

 

 

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