Varying level of trust in authorities, with regards to nuclear risk in the UK, Spain, France and Sweden


In 2003, Viklund conducted a cross-national study in order to investigate the relationship between trust and risk perception (Viklund, 2003). The sample involved citizens from Sweden, Spain, the UK and France and the particular focus was put on the perceived nuclear risk. This study showed that trust is a more significant predictor of nuclear risk compared to other risks. Additionally, trust turned out to be a significant predictor of perceived nuclear risk across all investigated countries, but some cross-national differences emerged. In the UK, trust was a more significant predictor of risk than in the other investigated countries. Also, concerning the strength of the relationship between trust and perceived risk, different authorities were found to be the most important in the UK and Spain the government was the most trustworthy, while in Sweden citizens showed the highest level of trust in the Swedish Nuclear Power Inspectorate.

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