Structure and dynamic of institutional trust in contemporary Russian society

Structure and dynamic of institutional trust in contemporary Russian society

Тrofimova I.N.

Dr. Sci. (Pol.Sci.), Leading researcher, Institute of Sociology of the Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia

ID of the Article:

For citation:

Тrofimova I.N. Structure and dynamic of institutional trust in contemporary Russian society. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. 2017. No 5. P. 68-75


Based on the results of sociological monitoring, this study is focused on the problem of trust in public institutions of contemporary Russian society. Particular attention is paid to the structure and dynamics of trust in the context of the current events and processes. A theoretical and methodological basis of research is the set of provisions considering the trust as a complex phenomenon in individuals’ interaction in the face of uncertainty and risks. It is shown that institutional trust undergoes a constant dynamics under the influence of diverse and divergent processes. This is especially characteristic with regard to transitional societies, where at the same time there are stable and situational, objective and subjective, external and internal factors. The study found a concentration of trust around the institutions that implement state interests – President, Government, the Military and Orthodox Church. In turn, the institutions that implement private (individual, group, corporate, regional) interests enjoy a low level of trust. These include parliament (State Duma and Council of Federation), courts, local self-government, political parties, trade unions, non-governmental organizations. All this indicates a lack of a real solidarity in the Russian society. Also we can see a spreading of parallel (informal and shadow) institutional trust’s structures like favoritism, corruption, and nepotism.

institutional trust; society; public institutions; structure; dynamic; interests


Bourdieu P. (1987) What Makes a Social Class? On the Theoretical and Practical Existence of Groups. Berkeley Journal of Sociology. No. 32: 1–17.

Coleman J. (1994) Foundations of Social Theory. Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press.

Fukuyama F. (2006) Doverie: sotsial’nye dobrodeteli i put’ k protsvetaniyu [Trust. The social virtues and the creation of prosperity]. Moscow: AST. (In Russ.)

Giddens A. (1990) Consequences of Modernity. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

Gorshkov M. K., Petukhov V. V. (eds) (2016) Rossiiskoe obshchestvo i vyzovy vremeni [Russian society and the challenges of the time]. Book 4. Moscow: Ves’ mir. (In Russ.)

Kozyreva P. М. (2011) Doverie i ego resursy v sovremennoi Rossii [Trust and its resources in contemporary Russia]. Moscow: IS RAN. (In Russ.)

Krasin Y. A. (ed.) (2013) Al’ternativy razvitiya. Rossiya mezhdu modernizatsiei i degradastiei. Politologicheskie ocherki [Alternatives of Development. Russia between modernization and the degradation. Political science essays]. Moscow: IS RAN. (In Russ.)

Krastev I. (2014) Upravlenie nedoveriem [Management of mistrust]. Moscow: Evropa Publ. (In Russ.)

Martianov V., Fishman L. (eds) (2016) Rossiya v poiskakh ideologiy: transformatsiya tsennostnykh reguluatorov sovremennykh obshchestv [Russia in search of ideologies: the transformation of value regulators of modern societies]. Moscow: Politicheskaya ehnciklopediya. (In Russ.)

Mishler W., Rose R. (2001) What are the origins of political trust? Testing Institutional and Cultural Theories in Post-Communist Societies. Comparative Political Studies. No. 34 (1): 30–62.

Newton K., Norris P. Confidence in Public Institutions: Faith, Culture or Performance? In: Pharr S., Putnam R. (eds) Disaffected Democracies: What’s Troubling the Trilateral Countries? Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2000: 52–73.

Putnam R. D. (2001) Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community. New York: Simon and Schuster.

Sakwa R. (2014) Putin Redux: Power and Contradiction in Contemporary Russia. New York: Routledge.

Seligmen A. (2002) Problema doveriya [The problem of trust]. Moscow: Ideya-Press. (In Russ.)

Sztompka P. (2012) Doverie – osnova obshchestva [Trust. A Foundation of Society]. Moscow: Logos. (In Russ.)

Content No 5, 2017