Partisanship and Institutional Trust: Evidence from Mongolia

Institutional trust facilitates establishing democratic institutions in post-transition countries and has been accounted for by institutional performance and social capital approaches in previous research. We argue that particularly in post-transition systems, partisanship and the evaluation of both corruption and the state of democracy also impacts institutional trust. We select Mongolia, the only Asian post-communist country to have developed towards democracy, as a prototype for examining citizens’ trust in the president, parliament, and judiciary. To test the various explanatory factors of trust, we run ordered logit models using Asian Barometer data from 2014. The results suggest that, apart from institutional and social capital factors, partisanship strongly influences trust in the president and courts. This implies that Mongolians’ perception of the justice system is informed by political preference, which partially originates in recent attempts to seize courts’ autonomy.

Keywords: institutional trust; Mongolia; partisanship; post-transition; institutional performance; social capital; judiciary

(under review)