Staffan Kumlin, Department of Political Science at the University of Oslo.
Recent research suggests that welfare state performance affects citizens’ trust in their political authorities. We assess the procedural fairness argument that citizens are not only concerned with outcomes but also assess the fairness of the processes of welfare state service delivery. We use primary three wave panel data on citizens’ evaluations and experiences with welfare state institutions and find that degrees of public service satisfaction, perceived risk, and procedural fairness assessments all matter for political trust. At the same time, the role of welfare state (dis)satisfaction and perceived risk is conditional on perceived procedural fairness. These findings have important implications for research on democratic legitimacy, as well as for the design of welfare state services.