International Trust and Public Opinion About World Affairs

Brewer, P.R., Gross, K., Aday, S. & Willnat, L. 2003. American Journal of Political Science

This study argues that citizens base their opinions about world affairs in part on generalized beliefs about how much their nation can trust other nations. Using original data from a two‐wave panel survey and a cross‐sectional survey, we show that Americans hold stable, internally consistent, and largely pessimistic generalized beliefs about whether the United States can trust other nations. We find that social trust, political trust, partisanship, and age influence this form of trust, which we call international trust.