Building and Maintaining Trust in Public Institutions During the Coronavirus Pandemic. A Theoretical Perspective

Bianca Radu


The aim of the article is to explore strategies that can be used to build and maintain trust in public institutions in times of crisis. It is well documented that trust in public institutions facilitates citizens’ compliance with restrictive measures, and therefore it is an important resource in times of crisis. In par­ticular, we highlight the importance of crisis commu­nication strategies in a changing and uncertain en­vironment, maintaining transparency and credibility of public institutions, demonstrating empathy, com­petence and openness, educating stakeholders and the public, and collaborating with relevant stakehold­ers. In the final part of the paper, we reflect on how strategies to build trust in non-crisis situations are different from the strategies adopted during crisis situations. The analysis is based on the systematic analysis of journal articles published on the topic of trust in public institutions since the start of the coro­navirus pandemic.


trust; crisis communication; coronavirus pandemic; credibility; trustworthiness.

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